White Rabbit Guiding You to the Musical Wonderland
Cho Chung-hee (Department of Korean Language & Literature, 02')
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“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” mutters the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The rabbit eventually leads Alice down into the rabbit hole where the wonderland begins. Cho Chung-hee of the Department of Korean Language and Literature, is currently a jazz vocalist of the Band “Rabbit of March,” and a professor at the Department of Applied Music. Let’s follow Cho to the wonderland of jazz music!
Fearless 20’s and music
“I had no fear for my dreams in my 20’s,” said Cho. After four years of studying Korean language and literature at college, Cho made a decision to follow her heart towards music. “I always knew that deep inside me, I wanted to become a musician,” reminisced Cho. Once Cho made up her mind, she wanted to be told that this path is right so she sang a song in front of her senior. “Although my senior told me to give up on music, my decision was still firmly set," laughed out Cho.
Without any support from her parents who wished her to become Korean language teacher, Cho began to build up her music career and worked for part-time jobs for living. “My favorite music was not fixed at that time. I explored for various genres and songs, wandered from time to time, and then found out that jazz is the one that I was looking for when I became 30,” explained Cho.
Cho then was absorbed into the attractiveness of jazz. “Whilst my practice, my acquaintance suggested me musicians who could amplify the music together. Harmony with Hwang Sung-yong and John Vasconcello through our band has always been one of the luckiest moments in my life,” smiled Cho. Cooperation of the trio produced popular jazz music that opened up for the public. Jazz through “Rabbit of March” was no more a ‘league of their own,’ but a music everyone can enjoy.
Song of Wind is one of the most popular songs by "Rabbit of March."
(Video courtesy of Darichaola1's Youtube)
Your roles in the cyclical life
Cho is also a professor at the Department of Applied Music at Hanyang University, ERICA. Bearing responsibilities rising from various roles may give lemons to Cho. However, she rather enjoys the large spectrum of her life. “The job called professor taught be to become a better person before teaching students. Teaching requires my ability to know and explain from the very fundamental knowledge, which I was always unaware of,” said Cho.
Her another dream is to become a performance producer. “Jazz was a hard music for the public to access, which I disliked about. So I want to design jazz performances that can be popular among people’s everyday lives,” explained Cho.
Until now, Cho followed her own hope to become a jazz musician. “Jazz has no restrictions. Within a given frame of music, I can do whatever I wish to by playing with the rhythm, melody, improvisation, and more. However, this general audience might find such elements difficult,” said Cho. Thus, Cho wishes to create a jazz performance that includes intricate explanation of music to the audience and conversation between the audience and musicians. Within this, Cho can become an emcee, producer, song writer, and a musician.
Cho is now planning to make jazz a present. “I wish my music can become presents representing four seasons for the audience. For example, when its Christmas, listeners can open the winter CD. Also, I want to make jazz music based on lullabies. I have so many dreams!” Cho says that it’s never cliché to tell others to pursue what they want. “Things you can do and want to do are correlated and cyclical. Look at me! I majored in Korean literature and it helps my music. I hope students of Hanyang will try out everything their hearts desire!”
Kim Ju-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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