Unification News for November 1998

Sun Hak Choir Sings to 20,000 with Celine Dion in Seattle

by Nancy Kubo-Seattle, WA

Yes, you read it right...Celine Dion...pop musicís newest mega-star who rose to fame after her recording of the "Titanic" love theme, "My Heart Will Go On." Currently sheís on her one-year 100-city world tour with the theme "Letís Talk About Love." Sounds like something True Father would say to begin a speech, doesnít it? The theme song of the tour has a childrenís choir part in the music, so in every city she performs, she finds a local childrenís choir to perform live on stage with her.

Sun Hak Choirís director, Nancy Kubo, got a call from Celineís producers just one week before Celineís October 10 Seattle concert. None of the well-known childrenís choir would work on such short notice, but would short notice ever stop Unification Church members? Of course not! The next day the musical score and a rehearsal tape were at Mrs. Kuboís doorstep, and the choir sprang into action.

What Celine wanted was a multi-racial choir of 24 children ages 7 to 12. The Sun Hak Choir had plenty of children in that age range, including several Asian children, but was lacking in African Americans, so an emergency effort had to be undertaken right away to add more "color" to the choir. The gospel choir at Godís Anointed Temple quickly organized auditions, and three black children were selected. The next morning, Ms. Kubo walked into the principalís office at African American Academy, a local public elementary school, and explained the urgent need for this amazing opportunity. The principal was very excited and immediately took action by escorting Ms. Kubo around to classrooms for more auditions. From those auditions three more children were selected.

Now Sun Hak Choir was truly a multi-cultural choir with all races represented! But the choirís work had only just begun. Five intense rehearsals would have to suffice to get the music learned and memorized. Pop music, with its syncopated lyrics, was a genre which the Sun Hak Choir had never sung before, and two-part harmony was a challenge for the 7- and 8-year-olds-but they mastered the music with clarity and confidence.

Sat., Oct. 10 finally came, and the 24 choir members converged on Key Arena for the big event. The choir rehearsed and practiced stage placement with Celineís choreographer, who was quite impressed with the choirís accomplishment after only one week of preparation. After working with dozens of childrenís choirs around the country, the choreographer rated the Sun Hak Choir as "A+" and "one of the best." Celine came out just minutes before the performance to pose some group photos with the choir, then we were on! "Letís Talk About Love" was the first song of the night, and Celine was joined on stage by the purest bunch of kids sheíll ever sing with on her tour. The Sun Hak Choir sounded as professional as any childrenís choir out there. They absolutely glowed and showed no signs at all of nervousness in spite of singing to a sold-out audience of 20,000!

These children who sang with Celine Dion were not your regular everyday kids just pulled off the street. These children were heavenly spokespersons singing True Parentsí message of True Love. This is what they sang in Celineís song:

Everywhere I go, all the places that Iíve been,
Every smileís a new horizon, on a land Iíve never seen,
There are people around the world, different faces, different names,
But thereís one true emotion that reminds me weíre the same-
Letís talk about love,
Letís talk about us,
Letís talk about life,
Letís talk about trust,
Letís talk about love.

Now the Sun Hak Choir is no longer just another childrenís choir at another church. As a result of opening up the choir to families outside the Unification Church for the Celine Dion event, two of those children want to join Sun Hak Choir on a regular basis! Sun Hak Choir has now embarked on a new journey-that of a multi-cultural childrenís choir open to children of any faith or color who want to sing out True Fatherís message of love and unity.

Sun Hak Choir was organized in the Seattle area in 1993. At that time, True Mother graced the choir with the name "Sun Hak": "Sun" from True Fatherís name and "Hak" from her own name. It has been growing and rehearsing and performing extensively ever since.

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