For the first time, the National Theater of Korea, Korea's only producing theater presenting traditional Korean performance and music, has presented a popular song from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marianas Visitors Authority announced in a press release.
The song, “Marianas Way,” by JJ Concepcion, was performed in a Korean arrangement as part of the theater’s Midday Concert on May 11 in Seoul, South Korea. The arrangement was jointly coordinated by the theater and MVA. The Midday Concert aims to showcase the laid-back sentiment of the Marianas in a rhythmical performance with traditional Korean musical instruments. The arranged song was “Scenes by the Sea,” the release stated.
"I am honored that my music and the music of the Marianas will be performed at the National Theater of Korea,” Concepcion said of the performance. “I hope this song conveys the beauty of Saipan to the Korean audience, my home in the Marianas, and the happiness of the islanders."
Midday Concert is one of the most representative shows of the theater. As a high-class brunch concert held every year since 2009, the concert engages both the ear and the eye with a broad range of music from masterpieces to popular songs performed by pop singers, musical actors and pansori singers, MVA said in the release. Pansori is a genre of musical storytelling performed by a vocalist and a drummer, according to the UNESCO website.
“It’s an honor for the prestigious National Theater of Korea to perform a song by one of our local artists about the Marianas,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “We are grateful for the collaboration to share the beauty of our islands in this unique auditory experience.”