Libby Chriswell | Contributing Writer
On March 13, the School of the Arts Diversity Series presented its final event of the season — a recital called “Colorful Harmony: Melodies from Near and Far” performed by Samford faculty members Angela Yoon, assistant professor of voice and Jason Terry, assistant professor of piano.
The recital consisted of a diverse selection of voice and piano repertoire representing a variety of countries and cultures such as Korean, Jewish, Indian Philosophy & Arabic, Black & African American, Latin American and Chinese.
Yoon said that one of her purposes for performing such a recital was to motivate Samford students to seek appreciation and understanding for styles of music with which they may not be as familiar with, as well as to offer them some guidance for how to continue exploring on their own.
“Just because something’s different, that doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful, and that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have significance,” Yoon said. “I wanted to open their eyes and ultimately open their hearts so they’re more open-minded and they’re not afraid of trying new things.”
Terry said that there is so much more to explore beyond what is typically taught and performed in Western music.
“What we cover in just our normal music history class or music theory class is such a small sliver of what all is out there,” Terry said. “The challenge is that we often don’t get this handed to us on a spoon in classes, so it becomes on us as individuals, as artists, as musicians to seek out other resources. It does take a little bit of work sometimes.”
Another reason Yoon and Terry said they had for performing the recital was to share their belief that, as Christians, it is important to be educated about other cultures.
“Christ is not only specifying His love toward one specific group,” Yoon said. “Everyone is unique and special in their own way, and everyone deserves God’s love. So why not get to know my sisters’ and my brothers’ culture and their music?”
Terry added that he finds it significant that the very first verb in the Bible is “create.” As musicians, he said this is what he and Yoon strive to do.
“One of the things the Bible says is that God created us in His image. To be able to participate in creation in the same way as our Creator is a really humbling experience. It’s one that many of us don’t take lightly,” Terry said.