Summer is on its way

As this is the first blog post on the site, let me start off by saying “Welcome to Spokane Taiko!”

Please see the Events Calendar for any updates not mentioned.

A few changes to announce: firstly, as of June 10th, there will be a standing Saturday practice from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM with the exception of any Saturdays we have a performance or the very first Saturday of the month, as the instructor does need a day off once in a while. But anyone wanting to come and check out taiko drumming, please stop on by!

As summer rolls in to Spokane, the closer we get to what we fondly call “Gauntlet Week”. This is the week in which we are performing for the Spokane Public Library branches for their Summer Reading program. We have a performance nearly every day for about 9 days and it helps the group bond together in a way that we don’t necessarily get to on a regular basis. We are looking forward to it this year as we have some new members that will get to experience it.

2017 has already been an interesting year for us. In February, we did a quick song for the Doshinkan Karatedo group that we share a dojo with. The founder of Doshinkan created a kata that specifically uses the sounds of taiko drumming as vocalizations and inspiration for the movements. This piece, called Butokanki, we put together with actual drums to create a song that we also played for the beginning of their Winter Training weekend. Being as we share the same dojo, collaboration like this is a lot of fun.

March brought about a change in our usual string of April/May performances we do for the local Museum of Arts and Culture (NWMAC; Link). In years past, we have had 5-6 separate nights that we performed for the schools that were visiting on what they call the “Passport to the Arts” program. This year they combined the nights and we only had 3 but we were inside and that was a nice experience as winter still had its grip on the area.

On March 4th, we did a quick 5-10 minute performance for the EWU/WSU Spokane Multicultural club for their Parade of Nations event. It was quick and it was fun to see the different cultures represented from around the world.

April brought about the first time that Spokane Taiko, under Aaron Mark’s directorship, performed for the Columbia Basin Badger Club in the Tri Cities area of Washington state. The event meant that we had to road trip our way down from Spokane and that means bonding time for the group. The event itself was a discussion concerning the Japanese internment camps and the moral questions that surround the action that occurred. One of the speakers had a film crew traveling from New York to document the occasion as, apparently, there is a documentary being produced about him. We might end up on the cutting room floor, but I think that you might see us in that should it get released.

May means the Cultural and Community night for Garfield Elementary (Pictures here, courtesy of member Mari H., who couldn’t play due to an arm issue). With the exception of last year, we have performed nearly every year since 2012. It was a great beginning performance for one of our new members who used to, long ago, play with St. Louis Osuwa Taiko. We are excited to have her join us for the time that she’s here.

Also in May is the Asian Pacific Heritage Month Banquet at Fairchild Air Force Base. The last time that Spokane Taiko performed at Fairchild was nearly 7 years ago.

There is a lot of information here in this blog post, so please comment or email spokanetaiko@live.com with any questions and we’ll be happy to respond.

As always, thank you for your continued support!

 

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