MASTER OF CEREMONIES
SUZIE SUH – NEWS ANCHOR
Suzie Suh was born in South Korea, raised in Orange County and went to school in San Diego. She considers herself a true ‘So-Cal Girl’ at heart but really learned that “there’s no place like home” while moving around the country for her job. Suzie previously co-anchored the weekend evening news on CBS2 and KCAL9. Before that, Suzie was a General Assignment Reporter for the two stations’ Orange County Bureau. Prior to returning to Southern California, Suzie was a Reporter/Fill-in Anchor/Weekend Assignment Editor for the WB affiliate in ‘Fabulous Las Vegas.’ She also spent a couple of cruel, but beautiful winters in Northwestern Montana where she ‘one-man banded’ for a NBC affiliate. Suzie’s passion for journalism is rooted in two things: The ability to learn something new every day and meeting the people who teach her those things
Hanoolim- Korean Cultural Awareness Group
Hanoolim Korean Cultural Awarenss Group is the only UCLA student organization dedicated to promoting Korean traditional and modern culture. Poongmul is the branch of Hanoolim that continues to uphold Korean traditional drumming; students learn and practice throughout the school year to prepare for performances at the Koreatown Lunar New Year March (Jishinbalpki), Korean Culture Night, the Asian Pacific Heritage Month festival, and other events in Los Angeles. Hanoolim Poongmul provides an opportunity for Korean students to appreciate their culture, and for all students of various ethnic heritages to experience the Korean tradition.
A member of the Young Steinway Artists roster, Chicago native Jeremy Jordan has performed as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. His Jazz piano can be heard on the Emmy ward-winning HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Jeremy burst on the music scene as a child prodigy at age 9 playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on live TV, followed by performances on the acclaimed radio program From The Top and From The Top: Live from Carnegie Hall performing Liszt. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Jeremy made his concerto debut with Maestro Alan Heatherington and the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra playing Grieg, followed by debut concerto performances and recordings of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Paul Freeman. Notable performances include his recital with renowned clarinetist Anthony McGill and cellist. Yo-Yo Ma. Jeremy is the winner of the Walgreens/Midwest Young Artists Concerto Competition, Steinway Concerto Competition, and the Rembrandt Chamber Ensemble Competition. Following Jeremy’s debut concerto performance, music critic Dwight Casimere proclaimed of Jeremy, “History has been made – Jordan’s singing tone and thunderous cadenzas are reminiscent of the fire generated by Andre Watts at the peak of his youthful powers – Jordan is a true ‘Wunderkind.’ Anyone attending this inaugural concert can truly say they witnessed the ascendancy of the next Andre Watts.”
Grupo Folklórico de UCLA
Grupo Folklórico de UCLA prides itself in being the oldest university-based folklorico group in southern California. The primary function of the group is to provide a safe space for retention of Latino students, but also to promote Mexican culture in the surrounding communities of Los Angeles and among UCLA students. Grupo Folklórico de UCLA remains committed to the celebration of Mexican heritage through regional music and traditional dances. With our membership base of UCLA students, alumni, and community members, our goal is to create positive Chicano/a role models, promote cultural awareness throughout the campus community, and encourage the youth of Los Angeles to celebrate their cultural roots and to continue on to institutions of higher learning, like UCLA.
Our annual end-of-the-year showcase, Fiesta Mexicana, will be on the 28th of May this year at Royce Hall. This event is free admission to everyone. Doors open at 6PM and the show will end at 9PM.
Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles
The world’s first and only LGBTQ Mariachi brings Mexican music and folklore to Southern California. We are a dynamic ensemble representing the traditions of a rich culture of Mexico. Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles prides itself in providing its public with the utmost professionalism and musicianship. This unique ensemble was created as a safe haven for mariachi musicians who identify as LGBTQ to come together and perform traditional Mexican regional music in an otherwise “machista” and somewhat discriminating subculture of the mariachi world.
Led by director Carlos Samaniego, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles performs its repertoire to suit the LGBTQ community while it maintains the highest level of musicality. Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles is proud to have the first transgender female, Natalia Melendez, in the history of mariachi as one of its members. Natalia has been featured in a two-part special for Univision news, which depicts her life and struggles as a transgender woman in the mariachi world. As a result of this two-part special, in its short existence, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles has been invited to perform for 3 different morning news shows on Univision, which includes the “Lanzate” program. During each one of these presentations, the mariachi was highlighted because of its special nature in representing the LGBTQ community.
Due to the history that Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles is making, a recorded interview from NPR of this ground-breaking ensemble has been archived in the U.S. Library of Congress (check out our “media” page).
Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles has also performed for Los Angeles and Long Beach Pride, Transgender Pride at the LGBT Center in Los Angeles, South Bay Pride, Oceanside Pride, The Abbey, Club Tempo, Hamburger Mary’s, #SchoolsNotPrisons tour for the Califronia Endowmnet, and many other LGBTQ establishments as well as for many same-sex and “traditional” weddings.
Eugene Choi – Producer, Tenor
Eugene Choi graduated from UC Irvine and USC with a Bachelor’s and Master’s respectively in computer engineering and completed his Executive MBA program at UC Irvine. It was out of his personal love for music that inspired him to start Harmonia Singers. He currently serves as the CEO of the United Exchange Corporation and is an active member of the CEO Roundtable at UC Irvine and Council of Korean Americans.
Joseph Cho – Music Director, Tenor
Joseph Cho started his music career as a soprano for the World Vision Children’s Choir at nine years old. He continued on to graduate from the Seoul National University with a Bachelor of Music and UCLA for his Master of Fine Arts. He currently serves as an associate professor and chairman of the Music Department at Hope International University and as the music director at Sa-rang Community Church and The Elder’s Choir of Southern California.
Sung Bong Kim – Tenor
Sung Bok Kim earned his Bachelor of Music at Seoul National University, Master of Music in vocal arts at USC Thornton School of Music, and Master of Church Music at Hope International University. He currently sings as a chorister in the Los Angeles Opera and continues to be a featured guest singer and soloist in various choral societies and orchestras all the while serving as a conductor at the Orange Canaan Presbyterian Church.
Ildoo Kim – Tenor
Ildoo Kim earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Arts from Seoul National University and the Master of Church Music from Hope International University. He has been featured in numerous operas and has performed in some of the major performance halls of Southern California, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He is currently the music director and conductor for the Calvary Mission Church Choir and is a soloist in the Southern California Levi Men’s Chorus.
David Dong-Geun Kim – Baritone
David Dong-Geun Kim studied with David Adams at College-Conservatory of Music and James Taylor at Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University where he finished his Artist Diploma. His repertoire ranges from Early Baroque to 20th century music as well as Bach and German Romantic oratorios. He currently serves as the music director at New Life Vision Church and Bliss Youth Orchestra and proudly sings as a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Hong Suk Chae – Baritone
Hong Suk Chae received his Bachelors of Music from University of Oregon, Master of Music from UCLA, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice from Claremont Graduate University. He has also received a Performance Diploma from Indiana University and AIDA Music Academy in Rome, Italy. His impressive lineup of opera and soloist performances include pieces with the UCLA Opera, LA Chamber Choir, and UCLA Philharmonic.
Somang Jegal – Accompanist
Somang Jegal received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music with highest honors from Seoul National University, and he finished his Artist Diploma at the USC Thornton School of Music. He has won numerous renowned international competitions including the Grand Prize at the Korea Music Foundation Competition, the Washington International Competition for Piano, and the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition.
Director of “Gook”
CAROL PARK – AUTHOR
Author Carol Park grew up in Los Angeles during the 1980s and 1990s, a time of ethnic strife. Now she seeks to give voice to the Korean American community both then and now.
HYUNGWON KANG – PHOTOGRAPHER
As a photojournalist for more than three decades, Hyungwon Kang has been a witness to history. Kang has worked for Reuters, The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and TIME Magazine. During his tenure in journalism, Kang has served as a Photographer, Photo Editor, Front Page Photo Editor, Photo Assignment Editor, and as a Manager. Kang who grew up in Southern California, attended Berendo Middle School in Los Angeles Koreatown, Sequoia Jr. High in Reseda, Bishop Amat Memorial High in La Puente and graduated with BA in Political Science/International Relations from UCLA. Kang was on the staff of Los Angeles Times during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Currently, Kang works as Senior Picture Editor at Thomson Reuters Pictures North America Desk. Duties include assigning, editing and coverage of news, sports and feature stories in the U.S. and in Canada.