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Omatsuri 2018 was one to remember!

Performing with Eitetsu Hayashi and Eitetsu Fu-un no Kai. If you had told me that I would be playing odaiko beside Eitetsu Hayashi, I probably would have laughed at the improbability. There's no way I would have imagined it possible. And right here at home in Calgary, too?

It was probably one of the busiest days I can recall. After dropping off equipment at Max Bell, we rushed off to the Dragonboat festival for an unrelated performance, and then returned for the festival. I think I was mostly nervous because I had only just learned Sen no Kaikyo at the workshop a few days prior, and there wasn't time to really work the piece up to what I would normally do for performance standard. And I still had in the back of my mind that my students had their own performance after Mr. Hayashi and his group finished performing. How could we possibly follow that?

It all happened in a blur. I remember trying to eat something, and I remember my kids arriving with their babysitter (one of my taiko students). I don't really remember talking to many people, including my friend Joe, who is one of the members of Fu-un no Kai. Friends from Midnight Taiko, some of the MRU students, and the leader of one of the Lethbridge groups also performed.

I do want to thank the Japan Foundation and the hard-working staff at the Consulate General of Japan in Calgary, and the Calgary Japanese Community Association for organizing this amazing opportunity for the taiko community here. It was an opportunity that I never thought would happen here in Calgary, and one that I will never forget!

After the performance of Sen no Kaikyo, we took some pictures and then I had to switch gears into teacher mode and gather the MRU students for their own performance. Many of them were very nervous about playing after the professionals, but we reviewed our game plan and took some selfies while we waited for our stage time. The performance went very well, and I was so proud of everyone who performed.

After loading up and dropping drums off, my kids and I shared a much-deserved ice cream break at Village Ice Cream. It was a very full and amazing day.

Video of MRU Student performance:

Photos by the Japan Foundation and the Consulate, and others.

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