Happy New Year!
In the Chinese zodiac, Rat is believed to be industrious, thrifty, diligent and positive. According to myth, the Emperor decreed the animals would be ordered according to when each arrived at his party. Rat convinced Ox to give him a ride – and as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming the first animal in the cycle. A bit sneaky, perhaps, but there is no doubt Rat has both charm and ingenuity.
At Odaiko Sonora, we are fulfilling the industrious and diligent part of the Rat’s personality (though we’d like to think we’re pretty charming, too!) Our first All Ages Recreational Taiko class of the year has over 20 students; we’re currently conducting a whopping SEVEN ongoing/multi-week school and community residencies; we’ll be featuring a new song, “River,” by Moab Taiko Dan’s Margaret Hopkins at this year’s AZ Matsuri in Phoenix; and, once again, Odaiko Sonora was center stage — literally and organizationally — at the 2020 Tucson Japanese Festival, with members serving on the Festival Committee, giving workshop/demo sessions, and performing.
OS members are also working hard on training and new offerings for our audiences and communities. Ishani and Linnae honed their taiko skills at this year’s TaikoBaka in Sacramento, and Sonya is heading up a new taiko program with Parkinson’s patients. Holly continues to lead the revolutionary TaikoMIND Program; she recently received an ACA Professional Development Grant to attend the 2020 Taiko for All Gathering in San Jose in April, which will bring together taiko educators to share experiences and best practices using taiko as a tool for inclusivity and wellness. Lastly, our mentee group, Sierra Vista Taiko, heading by Jen, will be moving into a new space, with new drums and new members.
Want to help us continue to grow? You can still make your tax credit donations to local schools and charities, which comes directly off your 2019 Taxes.
You have until the deadline of April 15! Please consider sending your school tax credit to help fund our growing list of taiko programs at schools and in the community. You can send a check to TUSD Fine Arts or go online, naming taiko in the memo area to help fund our programs at Oyama and Cavett. Or, you can send money directly to Borton, Ash Creek, Elgin, or Manzanita Elementaries, the Imago Dei Middle or Highland Free School. For your charity tax credit, we recommend Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center.
And as always, keep an eye on our events calendar for upcoming performances!