Austria: Hyo Jeong Concert & Seminar
By Kazuha Canak, UPF Austria
On October 21st, 2017, a unique and meaningful Benefit Concert in support of Syrian refugee families was held at the Syrian Orthodox Church in Vienna. This concert, featuring Soprano Seiko Lee, created an environment in which it was possible to share True Parents’ Blessing with the entire audience.
After the couple Elisabeth and Dietrich Seidl and members of the Vienna UPF cultivated a good relationship and shared True Parents’ vision with the Syrian Orthodox Church’s leadership over many years, they were able to suggest holding a Blessing Ceremony at their church. Bishop Emmanuel Aydin agreed to it under the condition that the Seiko Lee Project N.P.O., who had produced three benefit concerts for Syrian refugee families before (two in Vienna and one in New York City), performs again.
The project grew in scale and when the time came seven 2nd generation and two 1st generation professional musicians from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and the USA, two guest performers, and New York City Symphony conductor Dr. David Eaton all worked together with the Seiko Lee Project to create an inspiring and uplifting concert.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Sacu, chairman of the church’s parish council, welcomed everybody and the opening remarks were given by Bishop Emmanuel Aydin. Mrs. Lee in with the youth orchestra and singers ensemble performed the first set of songs concluding it with three pieces of the Halelu Peace Cantata written by David Eaton and David D’or. It was a perfect set-up for Bishop Aydin’s speech “World Peace starts with me and my family” which segmented into Dr. and Mrs. Balcomb officiating the Blessing Ceremony. 300 participants of which almost 100 guests were able to receive the Blessing. The second part of the concert continued to touch people’s hearts which resulted in a generous donation of almost 4.000 EUR.
Sunday, October 22nd, the day after the Seiko Lee Benefit Concert, Dr. David Eaton (director of the International Hyo Jeong Music Department) led the Hyo Jeong seminar at the Vienna church center. It was attended by approx. 90 participants (1st and 2nd gen) from eight countries including many of the FFWPU regional leaders of Europe-Eurasia-Middle East.
The seminar began in the morning with Dr. Eaton’s sermon during Sunday Service which was followed by four sessions in the afternoon.
Dr. Eaton spoke about the significance and success of the European culture, specifically music, that’s rooted in Christianity which has accepted Jesus as the Messiah (session 1). He continued to share about the internal aspects of Hyo Jeong Cheonwon (the original Garden of Eden) as described by True Parents centered on their words in the CSG, Father’s Autobiography and True Mother’s recent guidance, and concluded his presentation with some practical steps that are being taken to accomplish this vision in the six areas of Hyo Jeong (music, dance, art, theater, martial arts, and media, session 2).
In third session, Tomohiko Miyazaki (Seiko Lee Project Sound Engineer) spoke about the importance of proper sound engineering and the necessity to return recorded sound back to its original God-centered state.
Seiko Lee concluded the seminar (session 4) by sharing parts of her life testimony. Her deep desire to share the lessons she’s learned prompted her to give everyone a brief introduction to proper vocalization techniques. By the end she had everyone singing along with her.
After closing, Dr. Eaton and Mrs. Lee continued listening to 2nd generation musicians perform with their instruments to get an idea of the various talents and gave them tips on how to improve their techniques. This meaningful educational meeting laid the foundation for the Hyo Jeong providence in Europe. The attendants were excited to be part of a new beginning in which music and the arts are taking a more important role going forward.