July - an exciting month

July was a great month. It included performing at a big event with Bruce in Osaka as well as sharing the stage in Niigata with Ikuseikai friend Hiroko Fujisaki and her duo partner Toru Kujiraoka. Great audiences at both venues. I especially enjoyed the Tako-yaki in Osaka and meeting so many young Hogaku players in Niigata. The highlight of the month however, was taking 19 elementary and junior high school koto students from Yokohama International School (where I teach twice a week) to the All Japan Koto Contest in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Pref. We were so proud of our sixth grade ensemble which played extremely well given the pressure. The competition was tough however and a prize was not to be. But just wait 'till next year! Four of our seven soloists passed the preliminaries and moved on to the finals. As if it wasn't enough of a treat to see Leo Konno (6th grade) win 2nd prize (Silver Award) in the elementary division, Yuji Mitsuta (3rd year junior high) took 1st prize (Gold Award) in his group. YIS is beginning to make its name in the world of koto in Japan! I love seeing these students develop and am so excited to be a part of it all. 七月はあっという間でした。ブルースさんと大阪ののイベント出演、新潟市の藤崎浩子さん/鯨岡徹さんとのコンサートはどちらも大変盛り上がりました。でも何よりの出来事は指導している横浜インターナショナルスクールの子供達19人の広島県福山市の全国小・中学生箏曲コンクールへの参加。12人のアンサンブル(中学1年生)は合奏の部で本当に頑張りました。でも残念ながら受賞はしませんでした。 個人の部(独奏)では今までもない素晴らしい結果となりました。7人のうち、4人が予選をパスして、決選ではYISの6年生のこんのレオ君が小学生の部で銀賞、中3の光田優治君が金賞をいただきました。嬉しかったです!来年の福山も楽しみ!

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