The Hyegwang Blind Orchestra, composed of individuals with visual impairments, is gearing up for a special performance titled “International Music Concert with Hyegwang Blind Orchestra” on Oct. 4.
The orchestra has continued its musical journey for 15 years since the Incheon Hyegwang School for the Blind established a wind instrument program for high-schoolers in 2008.
Currently, the ensemble includes members from various backgrounds, such as massage therapists, teachers, rehab workers, pastors and students. Many visually impaired people work as massage therapists in Korea.
The Hyegwang Blind Orchestra prioritizes inclusiveness to ensure that people with visual disabilities can enjoy orchestral performances. While compositions and practice schedules may be adjusted to meet their needs, the orchestra members hone their skills through weekly lessons, monthly ensemble practices and biannual gatherings for orchestral training.
Some of the highlights of the orchestra's 15-year history include a concert with the world-acclaimed soprano Sumi Jo in 2012 and a performance at the 2014 Asian Para Games.
At the upcoming concert, the Hyegwang Blind Orchestra will be joined by the Hong Kong Blind Orchestra on stage.
Japanese violinist Takayoshi Wanami and Taiwanese pianist Huang Yu-Siang will perform solo pieces. The two musicians are visually impaired.
The Shalva Band, composed of Israeli performers with physical disabilities, will also take to the stage.
The International Music Concert with Hyegwang Blind Orchestra is set to take place on Oct. 4 at the Bupyeong Arts Center’s Haenuri Theater in Incheon, west of Seoul. Admission is free.
Those planning to visit as a group should contact the Hyegwang High School at (051) 250-1000.