C/O Wing Luke Museum, 719 S. King Street

Seattle, Washington 98104

Edmonds School District Receives Traditional Drums

Principals of the Korean Drum Music Project

Korean American Historical Society (KAHS) is pleased to announce the donation of seventeen Korean percussion instruments to Edmonds School District #15, for the Visual and Performing Arts Department’s 2012 Summer Music School. The instruments were formally donated on May 1, at 9:00am at the Educational Service District office, at 20420 68th Avenue West, in Lynnwood.

The camp will feature two p’ungmul elective classes. P’ungmul (also known as samulnori or nongak) is a genre of music and dance featuring four types of percussion instruments: ggwaeng-gwari (small gongs), janggu (hourglass drums), jing (large gongs), and buk (barrel drums). The instruments symbolize four elements of weather that are important for agriculture: thunder, rain, clouds and wind.

The p’ungmul electives will be taught by Peter Joon Park, a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington’s School of Music. Mr. Park has been performing Korean traditional music since 1995. He has taught p’ungmul as part of the Smithsonian Folkways Certification Course in World Music Pedagogy for the past number of years. He has also taught music courses at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, and Pacific Lutheran University.

“This is an historic occasion because this will be the first time in Washington State that a K-12 school music program will include Korean percussion,” said Matthew Benuska, Secretary/Treasurer of the society. “It is my hope that students enjoy playing this music for many years to come,” he said. Korean American Historical Society is a local nonprofit heritage organization.

“These authentic instruments will provide an incredible opportunity for our students to experience the cultural and musical traditions of a Korean P’ungmul Ensemble,” said Scott Barnes, Visual and Performing Arts Manager of the Edmonds School District. “We anticipate having two performing groups developed in our Summer Music School, and hope to continue this experience throughout the school year.” Mr. Barnes also expressed his gratitude for the generosity and support given to this project by the Seattle area Korean community, and looks forward to an ongoing positive relationship with that community.

The instruments were funded by a grant from the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), secured through the initiative of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Seattle. The instruments were purchased from Hanullim Instrument Company in Korea, which also donated accessories for the drums. KAHS gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Tightrope Preservation Society, a Korean performing arts association, for inspecting the instruments prior to their shipment from Korea. Lastly, Sheldon’s Custom Cabinets, a woodworking company based in Lynnwood, has generously built and donated an instrument rack for the drums.

The Summer Music School will run June 27th to July 13th for all students (residents and non-residents) in grades 6th through 12th.

For more information about, or to register for, the Summer Music School, please contact Laurie Piper at 425-431-7118.

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