IHouse Summer Social with Music in the Gardens Concert

Author name
SangHee Jeong, Program Coordinator at International House

Hello everyone! How is your summer going? I am sure it is going well, but here is an idea to make it even more flavorful! IHouse Summer Social with Music in the Gardens Concert Series kicked off last Wednesday, June 5. It was a perfect evening for an outdoor concert – the weather was very pleasant, and the rain was courteous enough not to come down in Durham in that evening so we could enjoy the concert happy and dry.


If you have never been to local outdoor concerts here in Durham, you should come with us. You will see how relaxing, summary and friendly atmosphere it has. People come in couples, families, and groups; sometimes alone – I saw a guy sitting in a lawn chair and reading from his Kindle while listening to the soothing live music. When a fast-beat, cheerful country music is played, you will see moms and dads with babies and toddlers stand up and dance with their kids. It is such a harmonious environment, and you will feel that you are having a quintessential experience of the local American culture.

Last Wednesday’s concert featured Jkutchma & The Five Fiths. They played country rock, featuring the pedal steel guitar, harmonica and guitars. I am always fascinated by the unique sound of the pedal steel guitar in country music. Do you know what that instrument is? It is a guitar placed horizontally in front of the player who plucks the strings and uses pedals to control the pitch. Even if you don’t know what it is, you must have heard of its sound. If you are interested, see this YouTube video clip featuring a pedal steel guitar playing “Desperado”. Its melancholy sound has special “country” characteristic!

The lead singer said he came to North Carolina when he got an offer to teach at an art school in Durham, and now he cannot imagine living anywhere else! I hear many international students say they will miss Durham so much when they go back home. So, why don’t you make the most of it while you are here? The Summer Social will meet every Wednesday evening in June, and the next one will be on June 12. The concert starts at 7pm and the seating begins at 6:30pm, so we will meet in front of the Duke Garden Visitor Center at 6:30pm. Come through the Garden’s main entrance on Anderson Street, and you will find me on your right, sitting at the fountain with the IHouse sign. Hope to see you there. Seize the day!

More photos of the Summer Social 1 can be found on IHouse Facebook page