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The 27th Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ


Beyond Yoo Jae-Ha, Musicians Who Seek Their Own Ways! The 27th Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ

There is a certain musician who comes to mind in November every year. The person who passed away at the premature age of 25. This is musician Yoo Jae-Ha who left us like a fallen leaf in the early morning of November 1st, 1987. November 5th saw "The 27th Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ," which honored the genius and pure passion of the musician.

Young Musicians' Dreams Came True at the Very Place Where Yoo Jae-Ha Harbored His Own Dreams

▲ The stage of the 27th Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ!

Hanyang University's Baeknam Music Hall, where 2016's 27th Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition took place, was full of excitement and warmth even before the commencement of the event. Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition has been providing a stage for former participants to interact with each other under the name "Yoo Jae-Ha alumni". The stage of the competition each year is made possible by efforts and warm encouragement from senior alumni.

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha alumni offered a warm welcome and encouragement to make the event even more meaningful.

This is no different this year. With laughs and encouragement from the senior alumni to relax the performers and hands-on guidance offered to the audience who visited the venue, the hearts of the existing alumni whose pure passion for music shined amid simplicity as well as the hearts of newly participating alumni of 10 teams were fully felt at the event venue.

Originally, Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition was run by Yoo Jae-Ha Scholarship Foundation, which was established to honor the will of the late musician. The purpose of the competition was to discover the next Yoo Jae-Ha who would carry on his dreams and passion for music. And there was a time when the competition fell into a financial crisis and reached the verge of discontinuation.

▲ A place to cultivate and share culture; a place reliably guarded by the heart of CJ Culture Foundation

Immediately upon hearing about that, CJ Culture Foundation came to the rescue, and with its support, Yoo Jae-Ha Competition became able to continue cruising in a stable fashion again. As a result, together with CJ Culture Foundation which supports young pop culture people under the motto of "Grow and Share Culture," young musicians pursuing the spirit of Yoo Jae-Ha became tasked with continuing the proud history of the competition as Yoo Jae-Ha alumni.

Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ went on to cement itself as CJ Culture Foundation's representative pop culture support program, along with the support program for emerging creative musicians "Tune Up," the support program for pop music students studying overseas "CJ Pop Music Scholarship Program," and the offline concert support platform for pop culture people "CJ Azit."

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition is alive with musical individuality and a wide variety of music.

Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ is more a contest-like event that showcases the music of all participants rather than an event where the participants compete for 1st place. All 10 finalists are awarded a prize, and they sing their songs in front of the audience in a bid to communicate with them.

For that reason, you can call Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition a colorful event where you can enjoy the individuality of the performers and savor the diverse musical styles they offer, rather than witnessing fierce competition. Perhaps it's because of that? Excitement about what kind of music will be offered by what sorts of participants could even be felt from where the panel of judges sat.

▲ A star-studded panel of judges made up of K-music leaders

The panel of judges for this year's Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition includes musician Jeong Won-Young, composer Kim Hyung-Seok, and musicians Nadle, Jeong Ji-Chan, Lee Seung-Hwan, and Lee Gyu-Ho, who are all Yoo Jae-Ha alumni.

Composer Kim Hyung-Seok, who majored in composing at Hanyang University like Yoo Jae-Ha and was his junior schoolmate, encouraged 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha alumni who, for the first time, set foot on the stage where Yoo Jae-Ha harbored his dreams, saying, "The competition's venue, Baeknam Music Hall, is where I performed countless times as a university student and is also where Yoo Jae-Ha himself performed."

A Music Event Where Love and Serious Enthusiasm for Music Shined Prominently

Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Kim Young-Woo and In Ho-Jin, who are musicians themselves active as members of vocal group "Sweet Sorrow," competed in the 27th Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ. Of the two, Kim Young-Woo is also the current president of the Yoo Jae-Ha alumni association.

▲ "100% chemistry" show hosted by Yoo Jae-Ha senior alumni Sweet Sorrow's Kim Young-Woo and In Ho-Jin

▲ A beautiful song born out of warm encouragement from the 26th Yoo Jae-Ha alumni

Some of the 26th (2015) Yoo Jae-Ha alumni were present and kicked off the event with their songs of encouragement.

▲ 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha alumna Ju Yeh-Bin displays her crystal-clear voice

At last, participant no.1 Ju Yeh-Bin, who is studying in the Department of Applied Music at Seoul Institute of the Arts, signaled the start of the competition with the song "Consolation in the Early Morning." The background to the song is that in the early morning of a particularly rough day, the participant headed to her practice room with a clear mind, sat in front of the piano, and simply composed the song. Her warm voice and the song's calmly consoling lyrics were delivered right to the hearts of the audience.

▲ This is Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Baek Doo-In, who was the president of Ulsan Cheongok Elementary School

Participant no.2 was Baek Doo-In, a student in the Department of Applied Music at Baekseok Arts University who sang "Eye Conversation". The participant, who interestingly mentioned his proud history as the president of Ulsan Cheongok Elementary School in his resume, exuded the charm of a sweet, romantic love song in full measure with his song "Eye Conversation," which means conversation shared through eyes.

▲ 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Jang Yu-Kyung sings a heart-touching song

Participant no. 3 was Jang Yu-Kyung with the song "Lighthouse," who is majoring in CCM at Soongsil University's Conservatory. The song's lyrics told a heart-touching story from her own experience. The participant sang the song with sincerity in her subdued voice, carrying hope and gratefulness for the person who protected and helped her persevere like a lighthouse when she was going through the darkest time of her life.

▲ 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha alumna Cho Ae-Ran sings a sweet, love-soaked song.

Participant no. 4 was Cho Ae-Ran with the song "The Secret I Can Tell," who is studying in the Department of Applied Music at Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts. As you know, everyone who's in love is kind of the same. Your heart races, you want to put meaning even in small things, and yet, you suddenly become concerned. The participant, who sang her mellifluous song in her exceedingly charming voice, was truly lovely.

▲ 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Park So-Eun leaves a rendition of her 20-year-old self with her own song "Because I'm Drunk"

Participant no. 5 was Park So-Eun with the song "Because I'm Drunk," who is a mere 20 years old studying in the Department of Applied Music at Seoul Institute of the Arts. The song sung with a whisper-like voice in a sulky tone accompanied by guitar strumming was completely captivating. Composed by the participant when she was around 19 years old, the song does not draw on her own experience but took its motif from drunken confessions and belatedly relates what she witnessed through the people around her.

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Park Hyun-Young and Han Sang-Hee, who will be remembered by the unique name, "Pitiless World"

Participant no 6. was appropriately named "Pitiless World" with the song "Waves." The duo is comprised of Park Hyun-Young, who is majoring in composing at Seoul Institute of the Arts, and Han Sang-Hee, who is majoring in vocal performance at Seoul Institute of the Arts. The duo's singular name, "Pitiless World," conjured up a unique image, and their song reflected deep ruminations noticeable in the song title, "Waves."

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Jang Hee-Won and Yoon Deok-Ho gives their own rendition of "Fish Hung on a Tree"

Participant no. 7 was "Team Jang Hee-Won," made up of Jang Hee-Won, a student in the Department of Applied Music at Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts, and Yoon Deok-Ho, an instrumental music major at the same school. The duo showcased a song titled "Fish Hung on a Tree," with Jang Hee-Won on piano and vocals and Yoon Deok-Ho on guitar. The song progressed as if drawing a painting and engrossed the audience with its lyrical charm.

▲ 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Park Hee-Soo sings "Small Moments"

Participant no. 8 was Park Hee-Soo with the song "Small Moments," who is a music composition major at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. The participant charmingly sang about small moments in life such as when your lovely pet approaches you in a calm manner, and fun stories you exchange with your friends in a poised manner, as well as the consolation you find in such small and heart-warming moments. The song struck a small yet long-lasting echo in the hearts of the audience.

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha alumni "Young-Jin's" presents a lively performance reminiscent of watching a musical

Participant no. 9 was team "Young-Jin's" with the song "Happiness Chance 100%," whose performance was like watching a musical. The team, consisting of Seoul Institute of the Arts music composition major Park Ji-Young, Seoul Institute of the Arts dramatic performance major Byun Hyo-Jin, and Seoul Institute of the Arts vocal performance majors Yoon Bit-Nara and Kang Min-Jeong, sang about mundane yet pleasant moments of happiness in a joyful, expressive manner.

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha alumni Kim Min-Su sings "Consolation Party," a party offering warm consolation for oneself

Lastly, participant no. 10 was Kim Min-Su with the song "Consolation Party,” who is majoring in applied music at Kukje University of Arts. The participant added a remark, saying, "As we call a wrap-up party held after a fun event an "afterparty," he made his song "Consolation Party" through imagining a small music party of consolation held for himself who can sleep only when the morning comes due to his nocturnal lifestyle.

Rooting for Musicians Who Seek Their Own Ways, Going Beyond Yoo Jae-Ha

▲ Yoo Jae-Ha senior alumni Im Heon-Il showcases his passionate guitar playing and a red-hot song

The competition between 10 teams ended in the blink of an eye, and 10 touching moments and 10 afterglows filled the venue. After guest singer and Yoo Jae-Ha senior alumnus Im Heon-Il graced the stage, the most touching moment of the day finally came. It was the moment when all Yoo Jae-Ha alumni present at the event sang "Because I Love You" in union.

▲ A special performance that stirred waves of emotion amid simplicity, "Because I Love You"

Because it was an unscheduled, homely performance, the excitement was even more intense. The Yoo Jae-Ha alumni, who had big age gaps between them like uncles and nephews, sang "Because I Love You" bar by bar, while passing the mike around.

On this occasion, the senior alumni, donning wrinkles around their eyes, could not hide their excited feelings triggered by their memories of competing at Yoo Jae-Ha Competition in their 20s. The new, junior alumni who just started their careers as musicians also sang the song with their hearts as if to try to revive the musical passion of the late Yoo Jae-Ha, who is to them like a shining star far away.

▲ “This is the very stage where Yoo Jae-Ha performed," says judge Kim Hyung-Suk who went to the same school as the late musician

▲ “I hope you guys forge your own paths, going beyond You Jae-Ha,” Kim Min-Ki gives words of encouragement

Composer Kim Min-Ki, who stepped on stage to award the winners, warmly gazed at all participants and gave them words of encouragement, saying, “I hope you guys forge your own paths, going beyond You Jae-Ha."

Team Jang Hee-Won, who sang the song "Fish Hung on a Tree," won the grand prize at 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition while everyone was paying close attention. The winner of the gold prize was Baek Doo-In who sang "Eye Conversation," and the winner of the silver prize was Park Hee-Soo who sang "Small Moments."

▲ Congratulations to Team Jang Hee-Won, who won the grand prize at 2016 Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition!

▲ Baek Doo-In who won the gold prize with "Eye Conversation"

Judge Jeong Won-Yeong revealed the grounds for choosing team Jang Hee-Won who sang "Fish Hung on a Tree" as the winner of the grand prize, saying that the team's performance on stage in which they rendered the song with perfection in complete composure at a long-breathed pace was regarded highly by the judges. Team Jang Hee-Won, a bit dazed at having been named the winner of the grand prize, quickly collected themselves and sang an encore on stage to celebrate their win.

▲ A moment of youthful enthusiasm and excitement, when young musicians flap their wings of ascension

There are moments of excitement that can only be created by people in their 20s. The time of youth passes by most swiftly in your life. However, that period of time in your life is more fierce and passionate than any other period of time in your life. Young and beautiful musicians challenging themselves to go further at the Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition with CJ are the driving force for the event itself.

Feel the energetic flapping of wings by the new Yoo Jae-Ha alumni born in November 2016. The hopes of young and beautiful musicians are blooming here on the stage of the Yoo Jae-Ha Music Competition.