Osaka-Day 9 / 大阪にて- 9日目

-From Midori, Violin

I woke up this morning and headed straight to the Osaka School for Children with Visual Impairment. Today, we had lined up a rehearsal with the students of the Instrumental Program, with whom we have a performance scheduled on Wednesday (tomorrow)! The Instrumental Program at this school started last year. Almost exactly a year ago, the students were learning to hold their instruments when we visited them, and today they were impressively prepared to perform two short works! After rehearsing with them, we took an opportunity to play a short concert for them as well.

This afternoon, before the dress rehearsal for the Phoenix Hall concert, we had a good chunk of free time to have lunch and to shop. Osaka Central is such a busy place, and the shopping streets, some of which are underground, go on for miles and miles. Any time the shops are open (roughly any time after 9 am and before 8:30 or 9 pm), they seem to be attracting clients.

The Phoenix Hall is located in the center of Osaka. The formal concerts for ICEP in Osaka have been in this venue for quite some time, and it’s always a pleasure to return. Not only that I am happy to come back to a concert hall I have gotten to know so well, but I also feel so much at ease at a dressing room of any performance center or a hall. In the days when I feel the most stressed, for example, a stay in a dressing room or a teaching studio really helps me feel comfortable. Whenever I have trouble sleeping in a bed, including my own, a nap on the couch in a dressing room or simply a plain floor in the teaching studio rejuvenates me more than anything. But the important point is that I can sleep on the couch or on the floor even when I can’t sleep in bed!

Anyway, after the performance at Phoenix Hall, I took the three musicians, Chad and another guest to a restaurant I had looked up on the internet. I irresponsibly dropped them there and left (because I did not particularly want to have a heavy meal so late in the day), and I hope tomorrow to reconnect with the musicians. I hope they will be in one piece after the night’s adventure.






-From Michael, Cello

On our first full day in Osaka we went to the Osaka Minami Prefectural Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired. This is another school that I already visited last summer with ICEP and was happy to recognize some of the students I’ve met befgore. This time however, we were preparing with them for a Lobby Concert at the PIAS Tower. The students have only been playing their instruments for about a year, and despite the great challenge of not being able to see they are already sounding great! We practiced the Music Sharing as well as a special arrangement of Jacques Offenbach’s famous Cancan. This was especially enjoyable for me as Offenbach is one of my great ancestors!

In the evening we had our first ICEP Reporting Concert at The Phoenix Hall, one of my favorite concert halls! The concert was a great success and many of the patrons told us they really enjoyed hearing us talking about our ICEP experiences and our passion for community engagement. The final highlight for me was seeing my brother, who has been living in Kyoto since April and took the train to Osaka to see our concert. Despite the fact that both of us have visited Japan many times before, it was the first time we were in Japan together!


この学校は、昨年の夏、ICEPで訪れた学校で、前回会った生徒の何人かに会えてうれしかったです。今回は、ピアスタワーでのロビーコンサートに向けて、一緒に練習しました。生徒は楽器の演奏を始めてまだ1年くらいしか経っていませんが、目が見えないにもかかわらず、すでに素晴らしい音を出しています!みんなで、特別編曲版のジャック・オッフェンバックの有名な『カンカン』やミュージック・シェアリングの曲(『MIDORI Song』)を練習しました。オッフェンバックは偉大なる先祖の一人なので、特に楽しかったです!

夕方にはザ・フェニックスホールで、最初のICEP活動報告コンサートがありましたが、このホールは僕のお気に入りのホールのひとつです! コンサートは大成功で、たくさんのお客様が、私たちのICEPツアーでの経験談や、社会貢献に対する情熱について、僕たちの話が楽しかったと話ししてくれました。それから嬉しかったのは、4月から京都に住んでいる弟が、このコンサートのために、大阪まで電車できてくれたことです。僕たち兄弟は、これまでに何度も日本を訪れたことがありますが、一緒に日本にいることは初めてでした!


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