The 7th El Sistema Japan Children’s Music Festival in Soma held on 7th & 8th May ended safely without any confirmation of COVID-19 infected person. We would like to thank all the supporters, coaches and participants.
More than 200 players and members of the chorus performed on stage in two days. The last time chorus, wind ensemble and the Soma Children’s Orchestra performed together on stage was back in 2019. All the performances were filled with participants’passion and excitement for music. The Music Festival became more than suitable to celebrate the beginning of El Sistema Japan’s 10th anniversary of the establishment.
On 7th May, the wind ensemble clubs from Soma municipal Koyo, Nakamura Daiichi, Nakamura Daini junior high School started the festival with their performance. Each school played Wakai Hiroba, UBU LOVE, and Under the Flag of Glory Ceremonial March. The audience applauded for the wind ensemble stage after an interval of three years.
The chorus stage consists of three parts. The first part Seven songs of Tableaux by Kaneko Misuzu included recital of the poem. The next part Chorus Suite for Children Chikotan was performed with dances to express the dramatic story of a boy and his classmate Chiko. The suite is composed by Yasuo Minai and the lyrics are by the lyricist Taizo Horai. They ended their performance with Ametsuchi no uta (the song of the heavens and the earth) with the strings played by Soma Children’s Orchestra. The encore song Pie Jesus and A Comedic Duet for Two cats cracked up the audience with the beautiful solo and cute performance.
All the performances created by the children with their respective strengths under the direction of Mr. Furuhashi was filled with the charm of the Soma Children's Chorus. Those attractive performances made the audience want to listen to them more and more.
The second day started with Gunjo by male voice members of the Soma Senior Chorus Espoir, who has continued to perform in support from the first El Sistema Japan Children’s Music Festival in Soma.
In the following, children's orchestra string ensemble played St. Paul's Suite (G. Holst). Hokuto (3rd grader of Junior High School) splendidly led 50 children, including volunteers from the instrumental music club of Nakamura Daiichi Elementary School. Triptyque (Y. Akutagawa). which was challenged under the direction of Mr. Kimoto drew the audience’s attention with an overwhelming sound from the moment they started playing.
The virituoso violinist Yoko Kubo finally appeared in the first piece of the orchestra section. She performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto enthusiastically with children. It was a masterpiece performance that embodied the phrase "music is to express the soul" which Yoko often mentioned during the rehearsal. The longest curtain call of the day showed the excitement of the audience.
The last song Sound of Music Medley became a memorable song for Soma Children’s Orchestra. Since all the members attending the string and wind instrument classes played the orchestra song together for the first time, the appearance of children playing this masterpieace lively was very impressive.
The chorus joined again for the encore and the customary Soma Bonuta, a local folk song was performed. The 7th El Sistema Japan Children’s Music Festival ended with unstoppable applause from the audience.