A Civilian-Friendly Band of Police
Music and Duty
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There are many pairs of words that make sense as an oxymoron such as a silent scream, only choice, military intelligence, and so on. How about police and music? The police is an established body that enforces the law, limits civil disorder, and protects property, whereas music is a form of art and cultural activity that gives people joy and satisfaction. In the Police Academy Band, the officers select, arrange, and practice music to perform in a variety of occasions, adjusting to their duty. Park Nam-yong (String and Wind Instruments, Majored in Trumpet, ‘02) is a sergeant of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and the leader of Golden Crown Ensemble of the Police Academy Band who connects the police and the civilians through music.
Beauty but a beast
Park wanted to major in physical education until he became a high school student. The turning point of his life that sent him to the College of Music of HYU was when he entered the Wind Orchestra, which had no string instruments and consisted mainly of wind and percussion instruments. Among the others, the trumpet stood out as the main melody, which called Park’s attention. “Trumpet can leave a strong and masculine impression to the audience but at the same time, it contains warm and soft melody in its sound. Its appearance looks robust and tough but it produces sound that suggests otherwise,” described Park. Learning the instrument led Park to gear his career path towards music, not physical education.
Golden Crown Ensemble is principally a quintet, consisting of two trumpets, a horn, a trombone, and a tuba. However, due to the frequent need of a drum, the band more often performs as a sextet. “A quintet without a drum has a limited range of performable music. For instance, when we played The Pirates of the Caribbean, it was essential to include the drum. Sometimes, more than five instruments are a requisite.” In other words, Golden Crown Ensemble’s number of its members could range from 5 to 12, making it a brass ensemble instead of a quintet.
“Since we’ve performed in countless places and times, it’s hard to recall every episode. But the most memorable performance I’d had was the World Police Band Concert, which was held in October in Japan. We played Frontier by Yang Bang-ean and Arirang and other pieces by arranging them into one.” In every performance, Golden Crown Ensemble considers the audience and their age, selecting the most adequate songs. If the audience is elderly, the band would choose the music from decades ago and if the performance is held in a middle school, music like pop songs would be the choice.
The band, as it is not an ordinary music band but a police-officer music band, has to fulfill its duty by performing in congruity with the national policy. Up to quite recently, the band has been performing with the theme of wiping out the four wickednesses of the society for the safety of citizens: rape, domestic violence, bullying, and junk food. Besides, public performances such as that near the Korean presidential residence had been held every Thursday for seven years. Through these approachable performances, Golden Crown Ensemble tries to give the citizens the impression that they are always close and attentive, providing cultural entertainment at the same time.
One cordial fact about the band is that they tour around and visit every corner of the country. Their schedule is determined by calls or by their voluntary visits. “If we are called, we go without hesitation. But more importantly, we open concerts for anyone and everyone, including the socially neglected or disadvantaged. We even opened a small music concert in a park of homeless people.” The band gets calls from outside organizations, government, schools, and most meaningfully, from the citizens. Wherever there is a need, the band goes!
Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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