Mountain River Taiko

August 20, 2014

Fall 2014 Beginner Taiko Classes

I am pleased to announce our first beginner taiko session since last fall. Here are the details. If you or someone you know is ready to register, or has questions please email: mountainrivertaiko@gmail.com
-Classes meet in central Williamsburg (just west of Northampton)
-Class is appropriate for anyone 12 years old or older
-8 classes total
-$25 per class includes use of instruments
-Class time will be 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Thursdays
-Class dates will be:
     September 18
     September 25
     October 2 
     October 9
     October 16
     October 23
     October 30
     November 6
-Deposit of $25 will hold your place for the first class
You can come to as many or few classes as you like (we will focus on basic taiko technique and also learn a taiko song)
Pre-registration is required: mountainrivertaiko@gmail.com
August 20, 2014

Olga and Abby were fortunate to be able to attend the first World Taiko Gathering in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood in July. Needless to say we had a GREAT time! 

Highlights included:

-Workshops with Kenny Endo, Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, Shoji Kameda, and Grandmaster Siechi Tanaka. We honed our shime daiko, atarigane, basic chu daiko skills, and learned rhythms from Shoji’s new composition Lion Chant. 

-We ate RAMEN, RAMEN, AND MORE RAMEN! and then we ate house-made SOBA!

-We made new friends and visited with old friends from New Zealand, Canada, California, Utah, Arizona, and many other places!

-We were thrilled by enthusiastic and skilled performances at the Taiko Nation concert featuring groups from around the world

There is not another World Taiko Gathering scheduled at this time, however next summer will see our similar biannual North American Taiko Conference. It will take place in Las Vegas, in mid-June. Stay tuned for information as it becomes available. 

Also, regionally, the East Coast Taiko Conference will be held on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, the weekend of February 14, 2015. There will be many similar workshop and networking opportunities like WTG and NATC offer. 

 
August 20, 2014

MRT hosts guest instructor, Ken Koshio

In May we were fortunate to study with guest teacher, Ken Koshio, originally from Nagoya, Japan, now located in Phoenix, Arizona where he is a taiko teacher and performing artist. 

Ken came to teach us a very old song from the Japanese city of Hiroshima called Nicho Daiko. He has studied this song with the cultural heritage society, Hiroshima Taiko Hozonkai. 

The song is unique and combines flute (fue), hand cymbals (chappa) and taiko played horizonally. Here is a link to Nicho Daiko, played recently by Fushicho Daiko, of Phoenix, Arizona: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6sGcebtFlg&list=UUdp24bhhPhctzvi5_T7jxfw

MRTCG with Koshio-san:

July 29, 2014

Photo album from Smith College Taiko Ensemble, January through April, 2014.

 
July 29, 2014

Other Spring Happenings…

It’s a little late to post but some other news from this past Spring season included leading the Smith College Taiko Ensemble, a ten week series of taiko classes for Five Colleges students and associates which culminated in a recital with guest Korean dancers and MRTCG members. 

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May 2, 2014
On April 19th members of Mountain River Taiko Community Group performed our longest set yet at the annual Smith College Sazanami club’s Hanami (Flower) festival. This marks our third year at Hanami Festival, the most public performance opportunity we have had yet in Hampshire County. We have had the time to hone our taiko skills and have costumes designed as we have increased our song repertoire. Our next performance will be on Saturday, May 10th, in Brookline at the Sakura Festival. Please let your friends in the Boston area know about this fun opportunity to see taiko groups from all over New England play and to engage in Japanese crafts and other activities. Stay tuned for a poster with details. Also, I will be offering a new series of beginner classes for adults and teens. Please stay tuned to this website, or follow us at Mountain River Taiko on facebook, or email me at: mountainrivertaiko@gmail.com.

On April 19th members of Mountain River Taiko Community Group performed our longest set yet at the annual Smith College Sazanami club’s Hanami (Flower) festival. This marks our third year at Hanami Festival, the most public performance opportunity we have had yet in Hampshire County. We have had the time to hone our taiko skills and have costumes designed as we have increased our song repertoire. Our next performance will be on Saturday, May 10th, in Brookline at the Sakura Festival. Please let your friends in the Boston area know about this fun opportunity to see taiko groups from all over New England play and to engage in Japanese crafts and other activities. Stay tuned for a poster with details. Also, I will be offering a new series of beginner classes for adults and teens. Please stay tuned to this website, or follow us at Mountain River Taiko on facebook, or email me at: mountainrivertaiko@gmail.com.

 
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May 2, 2014

Happy Spring Taiko Enthusiasts!

At long last even though it’s been cooler and raining more than we would like, spring has definitely arrived in the Pioneer Valley! A few days ago I enjoyed the blossoms on the cherry trees in Amherst and this morning noted the many greens reaching through their blanket of soggy leaves toward the sun in my own yard here in Williamsburg. 

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January 8, 2014

Announcing: Teens Taiko!

Mountain River Taiko is pleased to announce the start of an 8 week taiko class for early teens. Here are the details:

Japanese Taiko Drumming for Beginning Teens

Dates: Sundays, 4-5:30 p.m. beginning on February 2, and culminating with a brief recital at the Smith College Hanami Festival on April 19th (8 classes not counting the recital and time off for Spring Break).

Where: Mountain River Taiko Dojo, central Williamsburg, MA.

Who: Teens ages 11-16 at time class starts.

Why: Learn a dynamic, energizing form of percussion and movement while getting to know about some Japanese cultural traditions.

Cost: $120 for entire session, may be paid in two monthly installments beginning at first class. Includes use of instruments and drum sticks.

Instructor: Olga Ehrlich, Founder and Director of Mountain River Taiko, established in 2010. For biographical information please go to the first page of this blog.

To register or ask questions: mountainrivertaiko@gmail.com

Thank you! 

Please like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mountainrivertaiko

January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to 2014 taiko enthusiasts of the Pioneer Valley! 

Despite the lack of recent posts, Mountain River Taiko Community Group has been very busy and productive. We have introduced tech/composition drills into our regular schedule and are busy preparing a new performance set for the Hanami Festival at Smith College in April. 

And speaking of Smith College, I’ll be leading a taiko group for members of the Smith College community this Spring, beginning in January and culminating with a recital in April. Stay tuned!!

Lastly, this Spring will also see an early teens taiko class for beginners meeting on Sunday afternoons if there is enough interest. 

Please email me at mountainrivertaiko@gmail.com for information about any of the above. 

Arigato gozaimasu!