The End of Summer
Every September we perform in two Japanese Festivals in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri. The festivals are our largest and most demanding performances each year, but can also be the most rewarding. This year we really challenged ourselves, learning several new pieces in a short amount of time. We had a lot of fun and we hope you enjoyed it! But our success wouldn't be possible without all of our volunteers, who share their time and their talents with us to make these events better each year.
Tony Salini prepares the dashi, our parade float, for its procession to the stage. Each year, Tony handles the preparations necessary to get the dashi ready for the festival. He also gathers visitors to the dashi before the processions to our performances, making sure we always have a good crowd. While the dashi is not parading to a performance, performing member Rosemary Mroczkowski and other members spend much of their time in the dashi, teaching festival-goers about taiko and the dashi, and playing a lot of taiko. With their help, the dashi continues to be a popular attraction at the festival!
Thank you to all of our volunteers who distributed programs and staffed our merchandise table. Former member Megan Geeck traveled all the way from New Orleans to hand out programs, and even danced Kagura with us! Thank you also to Kevin Converse for providing videography for every show throughout the long weekend; we hope to share some of the footage soon!
Thank you also to photographer Kevin Dingman, who travels to St. Louis each year to document the festival and our performances. Many of the photos you see in our newsletters and on social media (including the top photo) come from Kevin. We continue to be amazed by the images he captures!
We also want to give a special thank you to guest artists Tomiko Carter and Karina Terai (above right) for lending your musical talents to our performance pieces "Otemoyan" and "Oni Daiko," taking the time to practice with us in our studio and performing with us throughout the weekend.
The Springfield Japanese Fall Festival was a bit soggy this year with rain throughout the festival weekend, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm. Thank you to Cindy Jobe and the Springfield Sister Cities Committee for all your efforts in keeping the stage dry and safe for the performers, and for all your assistance loading and unloading all our equipment. You rock!
A Homecoming at the Focal Point
We're excited to be returning to the Focal Point next month! Join us Friday, October 12 for an energetic show at what has become one of our favorite venues. The show will begin with a performance by world percussion ensemble Joia, who is celebrating the group's 25th year. Tickets are available
Friday, October 12, 2018
Doors open at 7:30 PM / Performance at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15 advance / $20 door