Boise State choral director takes part in exchange program in South Korea

Michael Porter is using the information he learned in South Korea to inform his students at home at Boise State.
Michael Porter is using the information he learned in South Korea to inform his students at home at Boise State. | Contributed photo
Boise State University's director of choral music Michael Porter recently took part in an American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) exchange program that saw him learn about the well-established choral tradition in South Korea.

“Each year the program focuses on a different country, chosen for its strong choral traditions,” Porter said. “In South Korea, choral music is part of their national identity. I was excited to learn how robust South Korea’s music education system is.”

The International Conductors Exchange Program began this year with an ACDA conference in Seoul, after which the seven participating conductors, chosen through a peer-reviewed process including applications and auditions, spent time with specific choirs throughout the country. Porter traveled to Cheongju, where he worked with the city choir conducted by Kee-Tae Kong. He also worked with church, school, children’s and community choirs.

Porter is using the information he learned in South Korea to inform his students at home at Boise State.

“I want students to understand that they are not just U.S. citizens, but that they are global citizens,” he said, before explaining the group context of choral music. “You’re in a situation where you can’t do it on your own. You have to rely on the success of the person next to you. It’s a selfless activity-- less of I and more of we.”

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