Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children

by Friends of El Sistema Japan
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children
Typhoon Hagibis relief fund for Soma children

Thank you very much for your contributions to the Typhoon Hagibis Relief Fund for Soma Children. The total amount of donations received from around the world was 2,406,928 yen, or almost 23,000 US dollars including 550 USD channeled through the GlobalGiving, which was a great help to the children of Soma to continue their music activities. 

Fortunately, we only had to purchase instrument cases and mouthpieces. Thanks to the efforts of skilled repairers at local music stores, Oasis and Takano, we were able to restore the soprano, alto and tenor saxophones by disassembling, cleaning and replacing some parts, and the cellos and double basses by drying them out and partial repairs. We are also pleased to report that the ten Koto harps (a traditional Japanese instrument) that were damaged, including those owned by nearby high schools, have been restored by drying them out and replacing all the strings. 

Since March, activities of both the Soma Children's Orchestra and the Soma Higashi (East) High School Wind Ensemble have been suspended as a precaution against the COVID-19 spread. The situation remains calm in Soma and the activities are now resuming, albeit with some restrictions. The cancelled 6th El Sistema Children's Music Festival in Soma is now rescheduled for this December 2020. 

We hope you will continue to follow the activities of the children of Soma as they are conquirng their challenge through music.

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 Last October, Soma Higashi High School was severely damaged by Typhoon Hagibis. It was a widespread disaster and the school’s entire basement ended up being soaked with water. Therefore, it took time to determine the extent of the damage to the instruments and related equipment owned by the school or its wind ensemble club, which are the target of support in this project.

 Mr. Konno, the music teacher of the high school and the club’s advisor, has been enthusiastically teaching children for many years. He is a trumpeter himself and well known club’s advisor to the wind players not only in Soma district but in the whole Fukushima prefecture.

 Through the daily interaction with the school secretariat and the prefectural board of education, he managed to arrange financial support to the club from public funds.

 However, the public expense is limited. The school has to pay for the cost of repair and the new purchase of most of the instruments. The instruments needed to be repurchased are trumpets and timpani. Also quite a few instrument cases need repair. We have received donations from many people, including supporters of GlobalGiving, but it is still insufficient because of the situation.

 Soma’s young musicians, who have overcome the difficulties of Great East Japan Earthquake and Hagibis, have been active both in their academic career and the club activities. Nowadays, however, due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19), the school and club activities are suspended. Students are under the high stress of staying home.

  The world is facing an unprecedented crisis. Thank you to all our front-line fighters for keeping our society and live safe. Let’s stay home and keep lives. We appreciate your warm and continuous supports to us. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Typhoon Hagibis hit a wide range of the east Japan in October 2019 and also caused a great damage to Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture where we are delivering daily support. The city was hit by heavy flooding and water reached above the floor level. On November 23, about one month after the typhoon passed, the concert of Soma Children Orchestra was held in Iwate Miyagi Fukushima Festa, a festival featuring the Tohoku region (All Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima belong to the Tohoku region) at MEGA WEB Tokyo.

A grade 8 student Risa a cellist of the orchestra found her instrument had been damaged by the muddy water after the flood. Despite the difficult situation as she said “I was speechless when I saw my instrument,” she started to practice by using another cello which was donated by the supporters. Fortunately she had her beloved cello repaired by the day she finally got on the stage.

In the concert, the orchestra performed six pieces including a local folk music Soma Bon Uta, Mozart's famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Vivaldi's Four Seasons and L'estro Armonico and received a round of applause from the audience. After the performance, Risa said “I played with the gratitude to everyone who helped us while the typhoon disaster. I am proud of our performance.”

Mr. Kenji Goto, a Soma based luthier who diligently works for our program, said “I hope that energy of music heals children who experienced the terrible earthquake and typhoon.” In fact, the recovery of the city and orchestra from the disaster is still on the way. We also highly appreciate continuous support given by our GlobalGiving partners — thank you!

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Organization Information

Friends of El Sistema Japan

Location: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Yutaka Kikugawa
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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