Band and Orchestra Camp at Baylor University in Waco

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 42.5mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Wind Ensemble” Waco, 2019

こんばんは。Today was the final day of the Band and Orchestra Camp at Baylor University in Waco. This was Koa’s second year attending, which means that he enjoyed it enough last year to do a repeat. In fact, a few of his classmates also attended for the second straight year, which says a lot about the quality of the program.

The camp finishes with the “Grand Concert” and Koa played in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. I recorded the two band pieces that he performed in, which you can watch below. In the first piece, he plays the timpani on the right side of the screen, and in the second video, he plays the claves and the bass drum on the left side of the screen.

Tomorrow Koa starts his third weeklong band camp – the High School Band/Honors Wind Ensemble Camp at UT Austin. He’s never been to this one before but he’s looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to having a short drive to drop him off/pick him up. 😆 The 3.5-hour drive up to the University of North Texas was a killer, and the 1.5-hour drive up to Baylor was pretty long as well… It usually only takes about 25 minutes to get to UT, but I saw a sign on the freeway that said part of the route would be closed tomorrow, so we’ll see.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO200
“Percussionists” Waco, 2019


Percussion Camp for Koa

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 18.8mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO1250
“Percussionists” Denton, 2019

For the past week, Koa has been up in Denton (near Dallas) attending the keyboard percussion workshop at the University of North Texas. Today Mariko and I drove there to watch the exhibition performances and then bring Koa home. It was a really neat camp because it was just percussion kids, and the guest instructors were some of the best in the world, including Pius Cheung and Eriko Daimo. As expected, Koa learned a lot and had a ton of fun too. These summer camps aren’t inexpensive, but I think they are very valuable and sometimes you have to value the experiences that are created much more than the money spent.

I hope you had a nice day!


Bay’s Graduation

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 23.3mm, f/7.1, 1/420 sec, ISO400
“Happy Graduate” Cedar Park, 2019

They grow up so fast…

It’s true. I remember taking Bay to daycare for the first time like it was just yesterday! Now he’s finished with high school and off to college in a couple of months. Wow.

“Graduates” Cedar Park, 2019

The graduation ceremony was very nice. It was held at the sports arena nearby which was the perfect size to host a ~525-student graduating class and families. In fact, the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park hosted 4 graduations today, starting at 8 am. Bay’s graduation was at noon, which I think was a perfect time because when it was finished, we had good light for taking photos, unlike the last ceremony which started at 8 pm and ended probably around 9:45 pm. Plus, after Bay’s ceremony finished, we could go home and relax a bit before heading out to a graduation dinner. Perfect timing!

By the way, the entire ceremony was live-streamed on YouTube. You can see when Bay’s name was read and he got his diploma in the video here. Enjoy!

I know that Koa’s high school career will also go by in the blink of an eye, and Bay’s college career as well, so I should try to step back and enjoy all the little moments before they pass me by.


Senior Awards Night

“Senior Award” Leander, 2019

Bay’s high school career rapidly comes to a close, with graduation looming just on the horizon. But before that, he took part in Senior Awards Night, where he received an award for his work in Visual Arts. It was pretty cool to hear the applause and cheers as he accepted the award. Another proud moment for Mariko and I for sure.

I hope you had a good day!


Time to Relax

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/110 sec, ISO6400
“Relax Time” Austin, 2019

We visited our friends for a get-together, and we all tried out their massage chair. It’s a fancy Panasonic model, which is nicer than our generic Chinese massage chair, but I have to say it’s a little too gentle. It’s quite possible that I didn’t find the correct the option on the Panasonic chair, but I missed the deep rolling-ball massage that our chair has. On the plus side, the size of the chair seemed to fit smaller bodies better than ours.

Anyway, the Panasonic chair was super-relaxing, especially after a big meal of Texas barbecue and IPA. Oh, the good life! 😄