By Maggie Christianson
On October 25th, 2017 the Edward and Cathy Gallagher Arts at Clarke series hosted A Night In Japan in Jansen Music Hall. The event, starting at 7:00pm, began with music ensembles from Clarke under the direction of Andrew Alegria and David Resnick and concluded Tsukasa Taiko’s Japanese drumming performance. Alongside these acts, the series provided food options ranging from sushi to matcha white chocolate mousse before the event at 6:30 in the Atrium.
My adventure to A Night In Japan started when I arrived at the Atrium with an empty belly, ready to enjoy some sushi, only to discover the long line almost headed down the hall. It felt like forever, but once I received my plate, I grabbed as much food as I could. I tried everything they had, from veggie and tuna sushi to their dumplings filled with delicious pork.
For dessert, the staff had prepared a creme cheesecake puffball and white mousse. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cheesecake, which was perfect for my friend, Mariah, who attended the concert with me because she fell in love with the flavor. I really enjoyed the mousse. It had the texture much like frosting and a sweet flavor that wasn’t too rich, making it easy to enjoy.
After finishing our dish, some friends and I headed into the Jansen Music Hall and found ourselves right in front. The wind ensemble started off the 1st act by beautifully performing Japanese folk songs. My personal favorite was Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song by Samuel Hazo.
The 1st act continued with Sharon Jensen playing Hanawa- Saku (Flower will Bloom) by Yoko Kanno, on the piano. Following her was Cantabile, singing two songs, Nanatsu No Ko, a Japanese Children’s Song, and Sakura Sakura- arranged by Douglas E. Wagner. All the students and professors did an amazing job performing all these beautiful Japanese songs and created a great beginning to this wonderful night.
The 2nd Act was performed by Tsukasa Tako. Here is where they performed on the taiko drums and showed the different festival performances the drums were used for. Part of the show was demonstrating the movements of the beating of the drums which I found very memorizing. The speaker was very engaged with the audience, telling us stories about the music and how he started this group.I was amazed by the classical dance, getting to listen to live music as well as watching a dancer perform to said music.
I honestly enjoyed my evening. It was overall a great experience, from the delicious food to the wonderful music. I feel that whether someone went only for the food or the music, everyone found something to enjoy, as I heard nothing but good things about the night.