Unification News for December 1998

True Children’s Day Celebrated in NYC

by David Eaton—NYC

The True Children’s Day celebration in New York provided our movement with the opportunity to display its unique and wide-ranging capabilities in the performing arts. It is always a challenge to find new and interesting talent for our High Holy Day celebrations but with God’s assistance and the efforts of many brothers and sisters the True Children’s Day entertainment was in many ways a very significant program.

In their roles as executive producers, North American Continental Director Rev. Joong Hyun Pak and HSA-UWC President Dr. Tyler Hendricks provided the program’s internal guidance and maintained that the choice of talent and specific offerings of the performers reflect True Parents’ dispensational activities and concerns. Rev. Pak especially felt that in this historical time period the confession of our faith in True Parents should be the main theme of our entertainment.

Prior to Father’s main Holy Day address, the Washington, DC Family Church choir performed an exquisite rendition of the hymn, "Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees," under the direction of Susan Osmond. Susan and several other members of the choir are former members of the New Hope Singers International and their contribution to the morning’s proceedings was reminiscent of Holy Days past when the NHSI were a regular feature of our church celebrations. Rev. Chang Shik Yang and Rev. Philip Schanker deserve credit for their inspiration in bringing this fine ensemble to New York to participate in the day’s events.

Dr. Hendricks presided as Master of Ceremonies over the evening entertainment which took place in the newly-restored Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center. The full house was treated to a wide variety of musical offerings by both members and guest performers.

The New York City Symphony Chamber Orchestra opened the program with a spirited account of Mozart’s ever-popular "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," conducted by David Eaton. With South America an important dispensational focus, the orchestra presented two South American pieces as well.

Venezuelan flute virtuoso Marco Granados teamed up with guitarist Isamu Nakashio and members of the orchestra in a performance of Astor Piazzolla’s "Tango 1900." Piazzolla, one of Argentina’s most popular composers, wrote dozens of tangos, and his music is performed throughout the world by a wide variety of singers and instrumentalists. The infectious blend of classical elements with jazz and traditional Argentinean dance music has made his music increasingly popular among world audiences.

Soprano ___ then sang the enchanting Paraguayan song "Alto Parana." She recently performed in Paraguay with Gloria del Paraguay where she learned this beautiful piece. David Eaton had conducted this music in Paraguay with Gloria in 1995 and thus was able to arrange it for ___ to perform on this occasion. ___ also offered the lovely Korean art song, "San Yu Hwa," a song True Parents have often sung at various church and family celebrations.

Raoul Joseph and June Maxim performed a duet of the American popular song, "From A Distance." With its vision of a world united in peace with watchful God overseeing His children, the song was a fitting tribute to True Parents on this day.

Perhaps the most exciting guest performer who has ever appeared at one of our celebrations was vocalist Kenny Mohammed. Known at "The Human Orchestra," Kenny utilizes his voice in unique and always fascinating ways, as he can emulate a wide variety of percussive and synthesized sounds.

Kenny is a member of Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam; he knows Minister Farrakhan personally and on this occasion brought special Holy Day greetings to True Parents from Minister Farrakhan.

Kenny then presented a solo piece entitled, "In the Beginning was the Beat. And the Beat was God." Kenny’s performance brought the Manhattan Center audience to its feet with a standing ovation. But he wasn’t finished. In a clever merge of pop, hip-hop and classical music Kenny joined the New York City Symphony in a piece entitled "Kenny’s Joy," which was composed for this occasion by David Eaton. While Kenny provided the rhythmic underpinning, David and the orchestra played the Vivaldi-esque music and all seemed to enjoy the partnership. Could this be the beginning of a unique musical marriage?

A main component of any celebration entertainment is a video report on True Parents’ providential activities, and on this day members were treated to a report on True Parents’ recent achievements in Jardim, Mt. Olympo and Kodiak. Produced as a monthly video newsletter by our Korean members, the report provided a unique view into the developing accomplishments in South America as well as an up-close look at Father and Mother as they conducted Hoon Dok Hae activities, led fishing expeditions and instructed members and guests on the issues of True Family Values.

Following the video, the second generation took center stage as 30 members of the Jin A school and friends performed two new songs from the upcoming album, "Have A True Christmas." The album is the inspiration of brother Ken Hendricks and features nine of Ken’s songs with vocal performances by various children from Jin A and the New Jersey Family Church. The two songs performed, "True Parents, True Love" and "Songs The Angels Sing," were led by Ken as the children sang to the pre-recorded instrumental tracks. The production of this album was sponsored by the New Jersey Family Church and all proceeds will go toward a second-generation scholarship fund.

The Manhattan Center audience was then treated to an astonishing performance by ten-year-old violinist Yae Joo Woo. Ms. Woo, who performed Antonio Vitali’s "Chaconne for Violin and Piano," is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jong Choon Woo and the niece of Mr. Sung Am Moon, director of CARP’s Acumedia Studios. She has been awarded a scholarship by True Parents to attend the Juilliard Pre-College Conservatory and as anyone who heard her can attest, she has a formidable talent and a potentially brilliant future. She was accompanied by Rikako Asanuma.

In a tribute to the great victory of Blessing ’98 at Madison Square Garden, the award-winning gospel choir from the New Life Tabernacle Church of Brooklyn performed three rousing gospel numbers. This choir, and their dynamic conductor, Angela Moses, was the lead choir for the historic 2000-Voice Inter-Church Choir which performed at the Garden on June 13.

A second video was then presented, this one produced by the Pure Love Alliance (PLA). This exciting footage highlighted various PLA activities including their recent tour of Japan and Korea. Second-generation members were seen presenting speeches at rallies and concerts as the spirit of the PLA spread throughout the world.

The finale of the show paid tribute to the effort of Heung Jin Nim, Dae Mo Nim and Choong Mo Nim at Chung Pyung Lake as Robert Hall, Dr. Hendricks and the Family Church choirs from Manhattan and Washington DC collaborated on a spirited rendering of "Grace of the Holy Garden."

As a surprise Grand Finale, Hyo Jin Nim offered two Korean songs in a fitting conclusion to our highly entertaining and providentially significant Holy Day celebration.

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