Lethbridge, Alberta, has a huge taiko community! This small city is home to a few taiko organizations, including the Lethbridge Community Taiko Association. LCTA has been a non-profit society since 2007, providing opportunity for drummers of all levels to learn, perform, and enjoy taiko. They are a large group, with over 30 members, and perform regularly at local events, including at the beautiful Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.
I was excited to work with LCTA, in my (now former) role of Workshop Co-ordinator with Midnight Taiko. They requested Midnight to travel to Lethbridge to work with their members for a three hour workshop, and also a performance for their pop-up Culture Days event to be held at City Hall.
With lots of careful planning, the members of Midnight were assigned different roles based on their personal strengths, and the workshop pulled off beautifully. After a brief physical warmup, we reviewed some beta technique to help them improve their skills, an introduction to Odaiko (which was the highlight for many!), a shime review, and learning the song Sakura.
After lunch, we prepared for our performance, which was high-energy and filled the large atrium space of City Hall. The reception was enthusiastic as we played our hearts out! I was happy to see my cousin and her daughter, who had come to see the performance. Sadly, I did not get to visit much with them because we had to run in opposite directions after the show was finished.
[caption id="attachment_703" align="alignleft" width="300"] Taiko Road Trips are the best! At the Umami grocery store before hitting the road back to Calgary.[/caption][caption id="attachment_705" align="alignnone" width="300"] Dinner with some good friends from Midnight Taiko![/caption]
I do want to thank LCTA for being fantastic hosts to our group, for looking after all the equipment needs and setup. They were attentive during the workshop and I hope they enjoyed having us! It was really nice to see such positive interaction between taiko groups to help facilitate more of a taiko community feeling in Alberta.