Learn about our Team and Culture
We are a team, ‘Sounds of Korea’ of dedicated professionals troupe of The New York Korean Performing Arts Center
Sue Yeon Park
Sue Yeon Park, one of the foremost Korean artists in the United States today, is a traditional dancer and musician with a specialization in Seung-mu (Buddhist ritual dance) and Salpuri-ch’um (shaman ritual dance). She was trained under Master Yi Mae Bang, one of South Korea’s Living National Treasures. She obtained the prestigious title of yisuja, which designates her mastery at the highest level of Master Yi’s performance lineage of Salpuri-chum. She also holds the title of distinction, yisuja, for the preservation of Seung-mu. Sue Yeon Park performs extensively in the U.S., Canada and Spain and presents numerous recitals and performances in South Korea. Recently, she gave a solo recital featuring Salpuri-ch’um at the Hunter College Kaye Playhouse. In her long-time affiliation with the Korean Performing Arts Center), she has been an instrumental leader and teacher; and has been serving as the President and Artistic Director for the past twenty years. She has produced their annual concerts at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space and Merkin Hall. She has led Sounds of Korea performance group to the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival all by invitation. Additionally she is an instructor for Camp Friendship, a New Jersey organization which serves Korean-born adopted children, and The Rutgers University Korean Student’s Percussion Ensemble. She has given guest master classes and adjudicates for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) annual competition since 2004. She is a recipient of the New York Governor’s “Award of Excellence” in May 2004 in recognition of her outstanding achievements and community service to the Empire State, “Best Artist of the Year” Award from the Foundation for Korean Arts and Culture in Korea, and the “Award of Recognition and Appreciation” from Asian American Cultural Center at Rutgers University for her dedication to Korean art and music. In 2008 Sue Yeon Park was named as a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow. She received this honor as a Korean musician and dancer in recognition of her work, for nearly three decades, bringing traditional Korean arts to American audiences. She is the first Korean American artist to receive this honor. She was awarded a New York Immigrant Artist Prize from the Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) in 2013 and nominated for the International Honor for Conservation of Korean Traditions by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2014.
Songhee Lee is a dancer specializing in Korean traditional dance. Upon graduating from University of Pusan, Korea, she joined the Pusan Metropolitan Dance Company and became principal dancer. In 1997, Ms. Lee had her first solo recital in New York City at the Hudson Guild Theater and was reviewed by Jack Anderson from the New York Times. Since then, Ms. Lee has been actively performing around the world and the U.S. Ms. Lee received an award from the Queens Council on the Arts in 2010. She her second solo recital at the Flushing Town Hall in 2008. Ms. Lee has performed at the Greek National Dance Theater, Dora Stratou for the CID UNESCO World Congress on Dance, NEA Montana Folk Festival, International Festival at Chihuahua, Mexico, and the Invited Overseas Artists Performance in Trinidad and Tobago, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently, Ms. Lee is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Songhee Lee Dance Company that includes the children’s dance initiative, Cheongsah Chorong. Ms. Lee is also an instructor at Lotus Music and Dance school and member of KPAC’s performance group, Sounds of Korea.
Hae Sun Jung
Hae Sun Jung has been the president of Korean Traditional Dance Studio in New Jersey. She was a professional dancer with Samsung Dance Company in Korea from 1991 to 1994 after she graduated college in Korea. She performed at the Korea National Theater for a group of dance academy. She was awarded the 1st place Minister Prize at a dance competition for the S’alpuri-ch’um by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea. Since 1998, she has been performing countless performances in New Jersey, some of which include the following: Closter Festival, American Museum of Natural History, Korean parades, Columbia University Korean Spring Festival, Education seminar of Children of the World invited by the U.N., 2009 World Trade Fair invited by Korean Tourism Corporation, 2012 Award of best teacher by Traditional Art Society of Korea, and Annual Performance of Korean Traditional Dance Studio.
Hyun-A Rebecca Lee
Hyun A Lee is a professional Korean traditional dancer. Born in Eui Jong Bu, South Korea, she moved to Fairfax, Virginia when she was 8 years old. She started dancing when she was 5 years old in Korea and continued to dance throughout her life. Ms. Lee continued her studies under AAAC Korean Drum and Dance based in Washington D.C. founded in 1985, under Soon He So and Cho Hyung Joo a member of the Korean National Dance Company. Ms. Lee performed for Presidents, Governors, the Attorney General, Ambassadors, various U.S. Government branches, and colleges. She received First Place at the International Folk Competition at the World Bank Special in 2005, performed at the ceremony of Sisterhood of Seoul and Washington D.C., and the Department of Justice Annual Asian-American Month Celebration. She was trained under Master Sue Yeon Park and in 2008, joined the group, Sounds of Korea. She has performed at many culturally diverse and celebratory occasions held at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as festivals including the Richmond Folk Festival and Cross Cultural Arts Festival. She loves to express and share her heritage through Korean traditional dance
Nakyung Shin is a Korean traditional dancer, choreographer, and instructor. She started dancing when she was 12 years old in Busan, Korea. Ms. Shin graduated from Ewha Womans University in Korea with a B.F.A. (2003) and an M.A. (2005) in Korean Dance. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree and came to New York to broaden her knowledge and experiences in the field of dance. She learned dance techniques from Young Hee Kim, a professor at Ewha Womans University, and trained with Master Kim’s dance company, Mute Dance, for 10 years. Ms. Shin also worked as a dance instructor at Busan High School of Arts (2004-2008), Myongji College (2010-2012), and Gyeongsang National University (2009-2010). She joined Sounds of Korea performance group in 2013 as a professional Korean dancer.
Mihee is a Korean traditional dancer and yoga instructor. Ms. Kim began training in ballet in her early childhood. She graduated from Kyungsung University in Busan, Korea with a BS in Dance. Ms. Kim was awarded a second prize at the 9th dance contest of Keimyung University in 1997, a gold medal at the 2nd dance contest of the Korea Institute of Folk Art in 1997, and the first prize at the 5th National Dance Contest presented by Korea Dance Association (Jeju Seogwipo branch) in 1999. After moving to New York, she started to train in yoga, learning from Jeanmarie Paolillo and specializing in the Vinyasa method. She then graduated from Yogaworks in New York City, completing the Yoga Teacher Training Program. Ms. Kim enjoys yoga as an essential part of her life and loves to teach the practice in a variety of settings. She maintains a daily personal yoga practice because it encourages her students to open to the possibility of changing their lives through the training. Ms. Kim joined Sounds of Korea performance group in 2012 and has participated in several festivals such as Cross Cultural Arts Festival and Lincoln Center “Out of Doors” Festival
Jeongsoo Park was born in Busan, South Korea where she finished her high school education at Busan High school of Arts. She continued on to earn her BA at Shilla University Specializing in traditional Korean dance. To expand her understanding and technique even further she earned her MA at The Sookmyung Women’s University Graduate School of Traditional Arts.
As part of her MA, she studied under Professor Jeong Jaeman (Intangible Cultural Asset #27). Under his tutelage she learned Salpuri, Taepyungmu, and a Budhist dance in the Hanyoungsook style.
In November 2007 Jeongsoo put on a recital to demonstrate her skill, her show included a special guest performance from Jeong Jaeman.
Erika Seonjoo Lee is a professional dancer trained in ballet, jazz, and Korean dance since she was 8 years old. She studied Teapyeong-Mu, one of the Important Intangible Cultural Assets of Korea. She was a performer of Shim Ka Hee Kumrim Dance Company and during her time with this company, participated in large international events such as the 2005 Aichi Expo in Japan and 2010 Shanghai Expo in China. In New York, she has continued to train in jazz, modern, ballet, as well as contemporary dance at Peridance Capezio Center and she is currently a traditional dance member of the Sounds of Korea performance group at Korean Performing Arts Center. She has performed for KPAC at many esteemed multi-cultural events including the Lincoln Center "Out of Doors" Festival, Kennedy Center of Washington D.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Jung Hee Oh
Jung-Hee Oh is a Korean traditional vocal performing artist specializing in Gayageum Byungchang (a vocal genre with self-accompaniment of the Gayageum) and Pansori (a traditional story-telling genre performed by a solo vocalist accompanied by a drummer). Under a special tutorage of the Korea’s leading Pan-so-ri artist, Sook-Sun An, Ms. Oh has excelled at a professional level. She is a certified recipient of the Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 23 (Gayageum Byungchang and Gayageum Sanjo). Upon graduating from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea, Ms. Oh had immigrated to the United States. She has been actively performing with a number of major musical events. She has appeared in the “Sounds of Korea” with Korean Performing Art Center, “Singing with 12 Strings” at the Korea Society, and “City of the World” at CUNY Graduate Center. Ms. Oh has appeared in numerous TV musical programs, live concerts, and festivals in Korea and in other countries. Along with stage performances, Ms. Oh also extends her work in teaching. She has taught at Sangmyung University and Seoul Arts University, and continues her teaching at the Korean Performing Arts Center.
Hee Jung Han
Hee Jung Han, a professional haegeum (two stringed fiddle) player, had performed as a principle member of the two traditional orchestras in Korea, the Youth Korean Traditional Music Orchestra and Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Music Orchestra. She graduates from Chu-Gye University of Art, completing B.A and M.A where she achieved the traditional academic training and further developed her artistic talent by studying with most celebrated haegeum performers such as Jung Lim Kim who is a folk music master and Kyung-Sook Yang who is well recognized as Korean court music master. While attending her college, she was honored as the haegeum player of the year and represented her college.
Upon arriving to the U.S. in 2005, she joined The Sounds of Korea and has toured with it and performed at events including “Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival”(2013), “Celebrate Korea” at Philadelphia Museum of Art(2014) . She also has appeared on many solo stages: “Contemplative Tradition Music Series” at Korea Society (2011), “The 60th Anniversary of the Korean War” at The Korean Consulate General in NYC (2010), and “Korean Traditional Music and Change” at CUNY Graduate Center (2010) to name a few. She was appointed as a member of Artist teacher for K-12 public school for “Spotlight Korea” at The Korean Culture Service New York (2012).
Ms. Han loves the virtuosity of the haegeum whose sounds matches well with Eastern and Western musical instruments and the ability to make a wide range of melody. In addition to her academic credentials and professional experiences, her passion as a musician brought the Ensemble to create and develop new repertoires of the Korean modern compositions.