UT News Nov 2013

Fri, 2013-11-01

I hope that people haven’t tired of me saying that the VNCS Fall Fair is, in many ways, the highlight of our year. (On reviewing past November articles it seems I’ve been saying that for years!) Whether through teaching or performing, we’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to share taiko with many people over the course of a year but the VNCS Fall Fair is always the high water mark and this year was no exception. If memory – and the Google calendar – serves correctly, October 26, 2002 was our inaugural performance; October 26, 2013 marked the 12th year in a row that we have performed there and I look forward to a dozen more and then some. The kids did a great job as the opening act for our afternoon set and I have to admit I was a little worried we might be upstaged. 

We usually have a good turnout at our post-performance workshop and this year was no exception. Our follow-up series of classes, however, has been cancelled due to limited numbers. In hope of retaining the future generation of taiko players we have opted to run a family-oriented class. If you know any youngsters who might be interested in playing taiko you can let them know that they have an opportunity to start now. 

Uminari members Ken Murata, Gayle Nye, Susan and Tsugio Kurushima and Teruyo Sano have returned from a road trip to Ucluelet where they performed November 9 for an appreciative audience at the Ucluelet Community Centre. This was sponsored by the Ucluelet and Area Historical Society and had been a long time in the planning. 

Closer to home, we are in the process of taking on new apprentices. We won’t be making them run marathons in blizzards or anything quite that extreme but we will put them through their paces and hope they continue on with us as full performing members. We’ve also got our own workshop coming up soon. It’s my great pleasure to announce that we’ll have Yuta Kato, a highly regarded taiko teacher, up from California to work with us on a traditional piece from Hachijo Island. It’s already been well over a year since we have had someone over to work with us so it will be a real thrill to have someone of Yuta’s calibre working with us. 

Please keep checking our website for updated workshop, class and performance news.  www.uminaritaiko.com/

Jacob Derksen