OWL Magazine Korea

Sharp “After the Play: A Hit Song from the 1980 University Song Festival”

The 1980s university song festivals saw the birth of many iconic songs. Particularly, within the 1980s festival, one can find a diverse array of memorable tunes. While the song “Dream Dialogue” that won the grand prize is famous, it’s intriguing that songs like “Must” and “After the Play” which won the silver prize were also born from the same competition.

Though it’s been over 40 years since 1980, it’s quite impressive that the songs from that time are still being sung and heard today. Indeed, one could say that great songs truly transcend time.

“After the Play,” the silver prize-winning song at the 1980 University Song Festival, belongs to the group “Sharp.” Despite being a song from the 1980s, it remains sophisticated to the extent that it’s hard to believe it was composed then, and even harder to believe that it was crafted by university students. With its ethereal and unique vocal melody by a female lead vocalist, along with jazz-influenced harmonies backing it, the song creates a dreamy atmosphere for the listener.

Moreover, old songs often contain significant meaning within their lyrics. The lyrics of “After the Play” alternately depict the perspective of an audience sitting in an empty theater in the first verse and an actor gazing at empty seats from the stage in the second verse, portraying the empty seats with a sense of detachment yet lingering emotion.

“Sharp: A 6-Member Group”

Sharp was composed of six members, all university students from Seoul and Gyeonggi Province.

  • Kim Young-ran: Sookmyung Women’s University
  • Noh Ki-young: Konkuk University
  • Yang In-ho: Yonsei University
  • Lim Tae-hwan: Yonsei University
  • Jo Sun-hee: Sookmyung Women’s University
  • Choi Myung-seop: Sungkyunkwan University
  • Choi Sung-jin: Kyunggi University

As a side note, Jo Sun-hee, who participated as Sharp’s main vocalist, is currently serving as a professor in the Department of Design Convergence at Hansung University.