My Taiko Recital
My taiko Community Group had our first recital earlier this month, and I'm finally getting around to scrapping about it! The photo was taken with my cell phone, so it isn't the best quality. These are the Community Group members who performed in the recital - there are a few members who were unable to attend. Andrew (our director) is the guy in the middle of the back row, wearing a black shirt and holding the bachi (drumsticks).
For this layout, I used the same color scheme & papers that I used on a previous layout: Learning Taiko
Six months of practices have led to this: our first "public” performance. We started in the Beginner’s Class together back in September 2011, and are now continuing our taiko experience as St. Louis Osuwa Taiko’s first Community Group. Over the past six months, we studied the basics of taiko, improved our kata (form), practiced numerous drumming drills, and learned 3 complete songs. But nobody saw us play outside of Andrew and the performance group members who assisted with practices each week. When Junsei suggested that the Community Group could perform in a mini-recital with his parent/child class, we jumped at the chance! Fortunately, Andrew agreed to the idea; he felt we were ready to perform for an audience. When Andrew assigned our parts, I was excited to see my name on the roster for both songs! I was confident that I knew both pieces, and could show Andrew that I knew the material. At our last Community Group practice on March 25th, we rehearsed the songs over and over, and then hoped for the best. Two weeks would pass without gathering together to practice before the recital on April 7th. Would we remember the songs and all of Andrew’s critiques and notes? Would be still sound cohesive as a group? On Saturday, April 7th, we met at the Taiko Center an hour before the recital for a quick run-through. To our pleasant surprise, we sounded better as a group than we ever had in the weekly practices! Any nervousness about playing for an audience quickly turned to excitement. After sitting through two songs performed by the parent/child class, it was our turn to perform. We started with Isami Goma, which means "Running Horses.” Andrew played this song along with us, providing the shime backbeat. Next, we performed Matsuri Taiko, or "Festival Drumming.” For this piece, our group needed no assistance from Andrew; we played every part of the song on our own. Susan got us started with a nice tempo on the oodaiko, and off we went! There was no time to think about which phrases came next, I just played and let the music come from within. Even my improv solo, which often sounded scattered and rough in practices, flowed smoothly from my arms and fit well among the context of the piece. In a flash, the song was over, and the audience was applauding for us!! We did it! What a thrill. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to play in front of an audience.