They came in June, a group of 56 young men and women from the Seoul Conservatory of Music in South Korea. Their destination? Cal State Northridge, where they lived on campus and spent five weeks studying with faculty members in the music department.
This week, the group bade farewell to the United States in a language understood by all--music. Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the students gave free concerts on campus that featured excerpts from symphonies, operas and Broadway musicals.
They are scheduled to leave today.
Jerry Luedders, chairman of CSUN's music department, said the inaugural visit was part of a new program to bring conservatory students to the university each summer for intensive instruction unavailable in South Korea.
The plan is for students to visit the campus during two summers and about 130 are expected next summer.
During their stay, students received private lessons and group instruction in piano, voice, guitar, composing and wind and string instruments, Luedders said.
The curriculum also included lessons in the latest technologies available to performers, he added. "I hope they go away with a very different sense of their own capacity to be an independent thinker," he said, adding that faculty members hope the visits will also encourage students to return to CSUN to pursue graduate work.
No visit to Southern California would be complete without exposure to authentic Los Angeles culture and this trip was no exception.
The students visited Universal Studios and CityWalk and spent the Fourth of July watching fireworks in Marina del Rey, Luedders said.