Meet the Maestro: Cape Symphony Conductor Jung-Ho Pak

Mar 7, 2016

Last year your show was a Broadway tribute. What can show-goers expect this year?

We are presenting a brand new show, and it’s custom designed for the Melody Tent this summer. This show is filled with the wonderful music of the late 50’s and early 60’s… a captivating era that was depicted in the hit show, Mad Men. It was the cool and hip time of thin lapels and big hair. Of martinis and mambos. And the music reflected an optimistic America, with beauty and humor. You’ll hear the music of the great Hollywood films, TV shows, and even the Beatles. No one personified the style of the era better than Frank Sinatra, so we’ve invited the country’s premiere Sinatra artist, Brian Duprey. His look and sound is so much like Frank’s, you won’t believe your eyes or ears!

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Being in-the-round, our venue offers quite a unique experience for both audience and performer. How are you impacted by seeing the audience and their reactions?

One of the best things I love about conducting in the Melody Tent is that I get to see 100 percent of my audience. Most of the time, I see zero percent because my back is turned to them in a conventional hall. But because of the Melody Tent’s round design and rotating stage, I have a direct visual relationship with everyone and it’s unique and inspiring. The audience becomes part of the orchestra, and I conduct them as much as I do the musicians in the orchestra. If there was ever any perfect location to be one with an audience, this is it for me.

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Some of our fans may not have seen a symphony live before; how do you describe the experience and how it differs from other entertainers?

The Cape Symphony is truly a unique experience, even among other orchestras. We value joy and innovation, and you see it and feel it in our performances. Our connection to the audience is palpable, and first time visitors often tell us how much they were completely surprised by how much they love our shows. I often say that we’re not an “orchestra”, but instead we’re a group of individual virtuosos who love to play together. I also think new visitors will be surprised and delighted how much fun they’ll have, and how incredibly beautiful it is to hear this great music performed live for the first time.

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You’re very dedicated not only to your music, but also to giving back with music education programs. Tell us more about how you’ve helped make a change in local music.

I truly love to inspire young people. As a teacher myself for over 25 years, I actively seek opportunities to work with school teachers and their music groups to help them be the best they can be. Public school music education is an essential part of developing creative members of our society, so it is an honor for me to give back in this way. We have concerts for young people specifically, but truthfully, I try to make all of my concerts exciting for young people… especially the classical ones. That’s why I love using video during our concerts. The Cape Symphony also has many free and popular programs for students, including a music identification competition called Music Memory, and another program where they hear classical music in the each morning called Music Works Everyday. Our next big initiative is to get instruments in the hands of every child on the Cape and Islands. We do this because we believe it’s a moral obligation to help young people learn what it is to be creative and expressive.

Get tickets for their show at the Melody Tent on June 18th, here.