Inclusion BC hosts performances by inclusive Korean string ensemble on September 9 in Richmond and September 13 in Victoria.

August 30, 2017, New Westminster, BC: It’s not your average orchestra.

String Ensemble Angelorum is a performing orchestra from South Korea that includes young musicians with and without special needs.

It is guided by a simple but noble mission: to make the world a better place through music. Since 2015, this group has inspired and entertained thousands, playing to sold out shows across South Korea. Now, its first international tour is generating excitement in British Columbia, where Inclusion BC is hosting concerts in Richmond and Victoria in September.

Director Yung Chul Song says, “music brings people together. We want to make good music while showing the world that people with disabilities can contribute.”

When Yung reached out during a visit to Canada last year, Inclusion BC jumped at the opportunity to host this dynamic ensemble.

“It is young, fun music that you’ll recognize by an amazing ensemble that includes youth of all abilities,” said Karla Verschoor, Inclusion BC’s Director of Strategic Initiatives.

These young musicians are not only learning to play high caliber music but they are also learning and teaching the benefits of inclusion and diversity.

The profound impact of the orchestra can best be described by its members, the young musicians:

“When I first joined String Ensemble Angelorum, I didn’t know the meaning of the word disabled. I have learned that they are not much different than I. I am motivated to practice more because of them. I really enjoy playing music with them.” Violinist Ji-Min Lee
“When we play music together I feel we are all one.” Cellist Ga-Heun Lee

“Being a disabled person there are not many opportunities to join society like non-disabled people. Through music we can break down barriers that stand between people with disabilities and people without disabilities. I am happy to be a part of the String Ensemble Angelorum. I have a sense of responsibility and pride.” Violist Seo-Heon Park

“When I went to my first rehearsal the sound was too loud. I felt uncomfortable and felt like people were looking at me strangely. I started looking for a place to hide. Now almost three years later, I am able to listen to the sounds of the orchestra. Now it is possible to say “hi” to my colleagues. They are all my friends. I look forward to every Saturday for rehearsal. It makes me happy.” Cellist In-Do Cho

Inclusion International’s Executive Director Connie Laurin-Bowie says, “We are thrilled to see this partnership taking place between Inclusion BC and South Korea’s String Ensemble Angelorum. We know that full inclusion and participation for all will only happen by working together as global partners. Inclusion starts at a young age – inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in education and the arts sets the foundation for a full life in community.”

The String Ensemble Angelorum is an initiative of the Rehabilitation Centre of Gimpo City, where inclusion is a paramount goal, with families, teachers and volunteers working together to ensure that people with disabilities are included in all aspects of the community.

Inclusion BC Concert Schedule:
September 9, 7 PM: Fraserview Church, 11295 Mellis Drive, Richmond, BC
September 13, 7:30 PM: Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC
Tickets are by donation, at the door.

Media Contacts:
Karla Verschoor,
Director of Strategic Initiatives,
Inclusion BC
604.209.8772 (cell)

Dawn Steele,
Inclusion BC
604.374.1530 (cell)

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