Rice University New Student Celebration

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/20 sec, ISO6400
“New Student and Parent” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today Bay and I attended an event organized by the Rice University Alumni for the incoming students from the Austin area. It was a meet-and-greet for the students, parents, Alumni volunteers and also current Rice student volunteers. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was really informative, especially because I sat at a table with a current student who answered a bunch of questions about dorm life. Bay sat with other rising freshman and got to exchange contact info with a couple of them.

I’ve been really happy with the outreach that Rice has extended to all the incoming students. Everyone is so friendly and they talk often about how supportive the Rice community is. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s all true! We’re so happy that Bay is going to Rice. Not only is the Rice Architecture program ranked near the top year after year, but the community and college (dorms) system seem excellent.

As for today’s event venue, it was held at Hula Hut and a full fajita spread was available. It was yummy! I didn’t take a photo of it, which is probably for the best. The amount of guac I ate was a little embarrassing. 😆

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/420 sec, ISO200
“Hula Hut” Austin, 2019

I hope you had a nice day!


Bay’s Birthday Dinner – Salmon and Ikura Donburi

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/6 sec, ISO800
“Salmon and Ikura” Cedar Park, 2019

For his birthday dinner, Bay requested salmon and ikura donburi, which was a nice surprise. I thought he would want to go out for sushi at a restaurant, but a birthday dinner at home has a special feel to it. I think it made Mariko happy that he requested a home-made meal. ☺

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/10 sec, ISO800
“Donburi Prep” Cedar Park, 2019

UT Longhorn Music Camp

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 30.2mm, f/6.4, 1/60 sec, ISO2000
“Honors Wind Ensemble” Austin, 2019

Today Koa finished up his three-week band camp odyssey with a couple of performances at UT Austin. He was part of the Honors Wind Ensemble at the Longhorn Music Camp and for concert day, the kids first performed in smaller ensembles, and then as a full band.

It was Koa’s first time to attend the UT Band Camp, and while he said it was good, he preferred the other two camps. The percussion camp at the University of North Texas was his favorite, the High School Band and Orchestra Camp at Baylor University was second, and the UT Austin Band Camp was third.

I guess the UNT camp is much more specialized, so if you are really focused on your instrument, these instrument-specific camps are the way to go. But he also enjoyed the UT camp, and it was a great experience, especially if you want to experience a little slice of life at a large university.

Please enjoy the recordings below!

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!