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Yuki 2023: Taiko Students from MRU Conservatory

"Since 1911, Mount Royal Conservatory has built a reputation as the most trusted provider of musical education in Calgary. More than a century later, we continue to be a leading force behind the introduction, development, exploration and mastery of the performing arts.
Our strength is our people. Through our focus on teaching and learning, we are promoting a lifelong love of music in our students."

Taiko became an official program at the MRU Conservatory in September 2016, with a single class for beginner taiko students. From 2016, Paula Midori Nieckar taught classes for adults, teens, and children; for beginners, intermediates, and advanced players.

Taiko is not just for performing; many people who learn how to play taiko do not have interest in taking Centre Stage. The MRU Taiko program provided a unique opportunity for the Calgary community to study taiko in an educational, non-performing environment. Students had the opportunity to show their family and friends what they learned in their classes during informal recitals; players who did have the desire to perform auditioned for the Conservatory performing ensemble, Rocky Mountain Taiko Ensemble.

The taiko program is rebuilding after COVID severely impacted the classes. Some classes were held online during the various time periods where we were limited, and classes were limited to a very small size depending on the restrictions. Classes are now taught by Yama no Oto and are back in full swing since relaunching!

We are currently running classes for anyone who wants to learn how to play taiko, and links to the MRU registration can be found on our website.

Yuki is proud to present students from two classes of the Fall 2022 semester. There is a Level 1 class that is composed of Beginners--these are students who have only had 8 weeks of taiko instruction! They will be performing a piece that they learned entitled Raku, alongside our group Yama no Oto. The Level 2 class are a little more experienced, and have had previous taiko experience. They have worked hard to learn the complicated piece entitled Shunpuu, and are excited to perform both the chudaiko and the katsugi okedo parts with Yama no Oto as well.

It is extremely brave of them to step onto the stage for the first time, especially the Level 1 students who are brand new to the taiko stage, so please give them a very warm welcome and lots of encouragement during their performance. Kiai is encouraged!


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