Danville Express

Newsfront - February 9, 2007

San Jose Taiko to drum for high school

Music program benefit will include San Ramon's percussion ensemble

by Jordan M. Doronila

Thump the drums and sound the gongs, Japanese Taiko drummers are coming to Danville tomorrow evening.

San Jose Taiko will perform at the San Ramon Valley High School Instrumental Music Benefit Concert at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, at the school's Performing Arts Center.

The school's Symphonic Band and a special percussion ensemble will open for Taiko with a Korean song and two excerpts from River Dance.

"It's fabulous drumming and dance with a martial arts flair to it," said Cathy Coleman, liaison between the high school's music program, Taiko and Wolf-Tones, the parent music booster club.

This is the fourth show the Wolf-Tones have organized at the school, along with Community Concerts.

The concert brings instrumental music students at San Ramon Valley in contact with professional musicians, while bringing a show to Danville. It gives students the opportunity to participate in a rehearsal with Taiko in San Jose.

"It's great because kids get to interact with a professional band," Coleman said.

"For 30 years, San Jose Taiko has performed in front of audiences with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of the Taiko drums," states the San Jose Taiko Web site. "Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, Taiko performers express the beauty and harmony of the human spirit through the voice of the Taiko as they strive to create new dimensions in Asian American movement and music."

Shows demand physical endurance from the performers, and their practices include running and exercise. Members of San Jose Taiko also write and arrange the compositions they perform, as well as designing and making their own costumes and crafting their drums by hand. All of this hands-on work contributes to the "holistic process" to make their music "ring with unity and clarity."

Coleman said that Cheryl Glass, San Ramon Valley High School's music director, and Jim Ocean of Community Concerts wanted music from a different part of the world in this year's show.

Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and the show starts at 7. Tickets are $10 for students; $35 for general admission ($40 at the door); and $45 for front and center seats. The Performing Arts Center is at 140 Love Lane in Danville.

Contact Jordan M. Doronila at jdoronila@DanvilleWeekly.com

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