UT News Nov 2017

Fri, 2017-10-13

Summer (remember that) is always a busy time for us and this year was no exception.  Uminari members were fortunate to be able to bring Kristi Oshiro to town for an afternoon workshop. Kristy is a professional taiko artist based in Sacramento and she was in the area for her performance with Jodaiko at the Powell Street Festival in Vancouver.  She taught us a song that she composed entitled Bamboo Forest.  We look forward to sharing it with you next season.

Immediately after that three of us flew off to the North American Taiko Conference in San Diego.  Over 700 taiko players from all over the world gathered to enjoy workshops, discussions and performances. 

Meanwhile the rest of the group who stayed home performed at the Canada 150 celebration at the Gorge Park in Esquimalt and the VNCS Obon.

We have been eagerly awaiting the shipment of 2 new drums purchased with a grant that the VNCS obtained from the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and they have finally arrived.  Another smaller purchase from the same grant was made possible when Teruyo Sano picked up a new gong while in Hong Kong this summer.

Our annual Dragon Boat Festival performances were, as always, a highlight of our summer season.  We played both Saturday and Sunday and enjoyed good weather and a favourable reception.

Our most recent performance was at the Saanich sponsored Moon Festival Lantern Celebration on September 30 at Gordon Head Rec Centre grounds. After the first song in our set a rain shower started and we had no canopy for cover.  We nervously completed the set which fortunately was very short.  Playing on wet cowhide drum heads is definitely not recommended for drum longevity!  Later that evening (without the rain) we led the lantern procession where Ken Murata's marching band experience was put to good use as he led the procession on his snare drum. The rear was brought up by Teruyo and Susan performing the Sansa Odori, a parade dance from our sister city, Morioka.

On Oct 1 we held a private Introductory Taiko Workshop for a competitive paddling group.  It was intended as a bonding/team building activity.  Based on the feedback we received the workshop achieved its goal.
"Lots of fun and a good team builder for groups"
"This was an amazing class."

You might want to consider this for your group.  We can accommodate up to 15 participants.

Our final performance of the year is at the VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair which takes place on Saturday October 21 at the Esquimalt Rec Centre.  Umnari Taiko will be performing two unique sets  at 11:15 am and 3:30 pm.  We will also be debuting our newest addition to our repertoire, Ismaigoma-Tonbane.  For more information about the Japanese Cultural Fair see the article below or go to www.vncs.ca.  Note FREE ADMISSION.