Hey Blog Readers! Rachel here. Sorry for the late post. On April 10 we had a school show at Running Springs Elementary in Anaheim, CA.  The school is located in the beautiful Anaheim Hills right next to Bryan’s house! This is the future school of his daughter (hehe).  We arrived early Thursday morning to perform for two assemblies.  Janelle and I carpooled to the school and met fellow TP members Bryan, Maz, and David.  The students were extremely well behaved and very interested in our program.  I loved watching their reactions and expressions when we performed and their excitement to play in the audience participation section.  School shows are my favorite performances and I would like to thank Running Springs Elementary and the PTA for having us.

Teachers play during audience participation! WOO!

Teachers play during audience participation! WOO!

 

Group photo :)

Group photo :)

 

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Bryan and Maz have similar poses while waiting for the performance

Bryan and Maz have similar poses while waiting for the performance

 

 

Our first school show in April was at Beattie Middle School in Highland, CA.  It was an early morning (read: “didn’t sleep”), but that’s typical for me for school shows.  I got the Big Coffee® and hit the road in the van with the equipment, picking up Maz along the way.

We met the rest of the cast (Bryan, Doug, and Janelle) there.  The students were great and the shows went extremely well…with the exception of one minor technical difficulty.  During our Nidan arrangement, a light fell from the ceiling and nearly landed on one of the students!  Fortunately, everyone was safe and the show went on.

Thanks to the Beattie Middle School PTSA and Staff for having us!  We had a blast and hope you enjoyed it, too.

Beattie Middle Cast Pic

As usual, the cast photo is pathetically banal.

Where's Doug

I know he’s out there somewhere…

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The instruments pause to gather their composure before putting on a great show!

 

 

 

DSC_0149Hello TP blog followers! Audrey here reporting about the End of Asano Debt Celebration that took place April 5, 2014. After 12 years of making payments to the Asano Taiko company for our *awesome* set of taiko drums, TAIKOPROJECT made our final payment this month! To celebrate the occasion,  we had a small gathering comprised of our close friends, family, TP alumni, and TP supporters to look back on TP’s 14 years of creative work.


TP members met early to set up the tables, prepare all the delicious foods and beverages, and decorate the Higashi Honganji social hall with photo boards and memorabilia.
 An hour later, our practice space was transformed into a beautiful venue for our reception!

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Ready for the guests!

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Mmmmmm, get into mah belly.

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Photoboard filled with TP memories

Hello Blaine. o_o

Hello Blaine. o_o

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Making spam musubi

 

The guests began filing in soon after we finished setting up.  After a period of mingling and catching up with old friends, Jen started off the evening’s program by giving a warm welcome speech and recalled her memories of when she first joined 10 years ago. After her talk, we performed two songs: Obvious Designs and Kodama. So fun!

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Sharing is caring!

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A room full of family and friends

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Obvious Designs

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Kodama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our performance, speeches were given by Maz, Katsuji Asano, Rinban Ito, and Lisa. Each recounted their own unique experience and relationship with TAIKOPROJECT. Katsuji Asano congratulated us on paying off the debt and on all of TP’s success and looks forward to having future invoices with us in the future– of which there will be plenty more, I’m sure! We then made our way outside into the playground area where Courtney gave a sake toast which set the mood for what was to come next– the burning of the last invoice! Bryan then shared his gratitude to Asano Taiko and all of TP’s friends, family, and alumni for all the support they have given TP over the years. Without their support, this feat would not have been possible!

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The guests listening to Courtney’s toast

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Liz and her cute apron, and Kelvin… being Kelvin

                

 

 

 

 

 

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. After Bryan’s final speech, the guests began to say their goodbyes and started filing out while TP stayed after to clean up. Such a fun night filled with fond memories, laughs, and a lot of love. I feel very honored to have been able to be apart of such a momentous event in TP’s history. Congratulations, TAIKOPROJECT!

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Yumi took some dessert goodness to-go hehe

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TP hug! Until next time!

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Good times!

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David and Doug’s two-liter bottle showdown

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Keiko sweeping up the competition

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o hay kelvin

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om nom nom bottle

 

And this concludes my account of the End of Asano Debt Celebration! Hope you enjoyed this photoful blog post!

 

Like the title suggests, TAIKOPROJECT has spent the past months preparing for our LifeRhythm Concert that will feature special guest Ryutaro Kaneko, former artistic director for Kodo.  We are about 17 days out from the show and things have been starting to get very real especially because we started using our risers that we will use for the show during practice.  It has been particularly difficult with our highest riser with a low ceiling, but we have been managing and luckily no one has suffered from any bonks of the head yet… knock on wood.  To get everyone excited for the LifeRhythm Concert on April 19th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), we wanted to share some pictures from our last practice with you! We hope to see you there and if you haven’t bought your tickets there are only a few left so be sure to get your tickets today!! http://www.lacma.org/event/taikoproject

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Kodama!

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Setting up the kotos for Seiza

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The usual Seiza set up…

 

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Our full LACMA Seiza setup!!

 

 

 

 

Hi friends,

Sorry for the late blog post. I’m writing about a performance did for the Japanese American Bar Association. They invited us to perform at their Installation and Awards Gala on March 7th at the LA Omni Hotel. Violinist Ryu Goto was honored at the dinner and United States Congressman Mark Takano was a Keynote Speaker! Our job was to lead all the guests into the ballroom and get everyone excited about their fancy dinner!

Load-in was an adventure.We had to navigate our equipment through a labyrinth of hallways beneath the Omni hotel (Interesting stuff goes on underneath hotels….) Several wrong turns and an elevator that wanted to kill me later, we arrived. We set up on stage, got dressed, and inconspicuously made our way over to a corner overlooking the silent auction.

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We yelled, we smiled, and we maneuvered our sling okedo around many successful lawyers. As we neared the stage, I started seeing lots of familiar faces: college friends, taiko friends, all kinds of friends!  It’s always nice to unexpectedly have loved ones in the audience. :) A couple sweaty songs later, we were done!

We packed up, retraced our steps through the underground maze, and drove the van back to Higashi. In the parking lot, Doug realized he may have left his camera at the hotel. :( We looked for a good 20 minutes before giving up to go eat and drink away our sadness at Oiwake in Little Tokyo. We came back, looked a little more, and found Doug’s camera! Yay. Then we took shadow pictures with Doug’s camera and someone used their arm to make it look like I have a giant tongue. The end.

:)

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