Austin Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

"Austin Youth Orchestra" Austin, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 55mm, f/4, 1/150 sec, ISO3200
“Austin Youth Orchestra” Austin, 2019

For the past couple of months, Koa has been rehearsing (as a percussionist) with the Austin Youth Orchestra every week, and today they had their Spring concert. It was really fun to listen to the music today because most of the time, Koa doesn’t perform with strings. It’s a really nice change of pace!

There were three orchestras playing today, and Koa is listed as a member of the top group, but he was asked to play in the middle group as well. He said he had to do a lot of sight reading today since he didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the middle band. But to me, he sounded great. I’m so proud of him!

Percussion is a fun discipline in the band/orchestra because they have to learn many different instruments, such as marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, bells, triangle, cymbals, snare drum, and timpani. Then there are a few other specialty instruments like the rain stick. And today, Koa said he had to switch between bass drum, snare, and cymbals in one of the pieces. Some pieces, he’s very active, and some pieces he doesn’t even have a part in. It’s very interesting.

Anyway, it was great to listen to the Austin Youth Orchestra. All the kids work so hard, and it’s impressive to hear the fruits of their labor come to life in a live concert.

I hope you had a nice Sunday!


Just Realizing that Lots of Changes are Coming

"Cluttered Corner" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Cluttered Corner” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

As my oldest son gets closer to graduation, it’s finally dawning on me that he’ll be leaving the house in just five or six months. So that means a lot of things that I’ve done each day for many years will come to an end. For instance, I won’t be making tamago-gohan for him for breakfast anymore. I also won’t be picking him up from school. And the dinner table will have an empty chair. All of these make me a little sad. 😢

But of course I am also excited to see what the future has in store for all of us so I will keep looking ahead with a positive attitude. がんばれ❗️

I hope you had a nice day!


TMEA Concert Night in Cedar Park

“TMEA Concert” Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO5000
“TMEA Concert” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight we went to listen to the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) concert that Koa was participating in. Last month, the high school band kids auditioned for a spot in one of the three bands, and Koa did great and earned a place in the top band, the Wind Ensemble. They played four pieces, and Koa mentioned to me that he was gonna go crazy on the bass drum in one of them. Sure enough, in the finale of the evening, Redacted, Koa was on bass drum and he was loud and banging away. It was pretty great!

TMEA happens every year, and this was Koa’s second time performing. It’s amazing that the kids rehearse for only a few hours the night before, then a few more before the actual concert, and can perform at such a high level. It’s incredible!

I’m so happy that Koa is so interested in band. It really has shaped his early life for the better and we could not be more pleased!


Final Marching Band Show

"State Champs" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 55mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO500
“State Champs” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight Koa performed with his 2018 high school marching band for the final time. Marching season is over, but it was an amazing year for the kids – the band won first place in the UIL State Competition which means they are state champions for their division (6A)! It’s an amazing accomplishment and the first championship for them in school history.

Here’s a link to the local Austin news report about the band, and also below is their performance at the UIL competition:

Next up for Koa is a trip to Indianapolis to perform with his percussion group at PASIC. So busy, but he loves percussion. がんばって Koa!


San Antonio Band Competition

"Action" San Antonio, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 55mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO320
“Action” San Antonio, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today Koa performed with his high school band in the Bands of America super-regional competition at the Alamodome in San Antonio. There were maybe 30 marching bands competing over two days, and Koa’s band did awesome – a 4th place finish! It was really an amazing performance, and the kids were so pumped and excited!

Mariko and I drove down for the finals portion of the competition which started at 6 pm, and ended at 12:30 am. (I’m actually writing this on Sunday) And Koa’s band’s preliminary performance was actually at 7:15 am earlier in the day. I can’t believe how much energy they still had for their 10 pm finals performance, but they brought their A-game for sure. I’m so happy for them!

"Finalists" San Antonio, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/150 sec, ISO400
“Finalists” San Antonio, 2018
"Finals" San Antonio, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 55mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO640
“Finals” San Antonio, 2018

Before we went to the finals performance, Mariko and I got some dinner at Rosario’s Mexican restaurant, which was pretty good. But what was really cool was the awesome makeup on the girl at the next table over. We just had to ask for a photo.

"Day of the Dead" San Antonio, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 48.4mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO1250
“Day of the Dead” San Antonio, 2018

I hope you had a great day!