I am glad to introduce a great high school band, the Saitama Prefectural Fudooka High School Wind Orchestra (不動岡高校吹奏楽部), from Kazo, Saitama Prefecture in Japan, to Singaporean band friends!
The Fudooka High School was founded in 1886, and has the longest history in Saitama Prefecture. It has been the most important high school in north-east area of Saitama, and many alumni have played an active part in every sector of the society.
Saitama is one of the hottest prefectures for band activities in Japan, and some renowned high school bands such as Inagakuen High School and Saitama Sakae High School originate from there.
Fudooka High School Wind Orchestra (FWO) plays a very important role in Saitama as well, especially after current conductor Mr Kazuaki Kaneko started to teach the band. Most recently, FWO won a gold prize at the 2017 Saitama New Year Band Competition, and qualified for the final competition which only five high school bands in Saitama are allowed to perform.
Apart from participating in competitions, FWO is always active throughout the year. Their regular annual concert in May is well attended by the people from the neighbourhood. They also hold a casual concert for young children on the day before the main concert.
FWO’s contribution to local society is also highly significant. They perform at public areas such as hospitals, primary schools, amusement parks, and have always received high praise from the local society.
FWO also contributes to the international band scene through its band exchange programs, and have hosted many bands from Germany, Taiwan and China. It is now time for FWO to make its first overseas trip to Singapore!
The Fudooka Wind Orchestra would be having two exchange programs and concerts in Singapore; one is with Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) and the other is with Anderson Military Band (AMB). The concert with RGS is a private event, but the AMB concert will be open to public.
“Harmony of Friendship 2017” will be held on 28 March (Tuesday) at Anderson Secondary School Hall, 7pm. FREE Admission!
(FWO Introductory Video below)
Anderson Military Band, Singapore
Lester Lim, conductor
Sunny Island (2017 SYF set piece) / Kahchun Wong
Memories of Friends / Toshio Mashima
Fudooka Wind Orchestra, Japan
Kazuaki Kaneko, conductor
Shizuko Tamura, vice conductor*
HISHO (飛翔) / Masanori Taruya
El Camino Real / Alfred Reed*
March Shining Road (2017 AJBC set piece) / Ryo Kiuchi
Singapura Suite (1999 & 2015 SYF set piece) / Jan van der Roost
Les Trois Notes du Japon / Toshio Mashima
Pop Song Special Medley / Various
Deep Purple Medley / arr. Toshihiko Sahashi
Luv, Peace under the Groove / JB Orga Ueda
AMB & FWO Combined Band
Kazuaki Kaneko and Lester Lim, conductors
Keiichi Kurokawa, guest conductor**
Future of Tomorrow (2016 SYF set piece) / Benjamin Yeo
Asian Delights / arr. Keiichi Kurokawa**
Disco Kid (1977 AJBC set piece) / Osamu Shoji
The concert repertoire includes some band masterpieces like El Camino Real and Les Trois Notes du Japon, which will help you better understand the standard of FWO. It will also perform the 2017 AJBC set piece, and also perform its rendition of Singapura Suite, which is one of the more familiar work to Singaporean band members.
Popular music performance is one of the specialty of Japanese band culture. In almost all its performance, FWO plays Deep Purple Medley and Luv, Peace under the Groove. You can partly appreciate it through the video below, and you will be much more excited if you directly listen to their performance!
As the Anderson Military Band would be hosting this concert, it would be better if I mention them as well.
AMB has organized a few international exchange programs that has promoted the mutual understanding of culture and band activities between Singapore and Japan. In previous years, they have hosted the Funairi High School Band from Hiroshima, and has also visited them in Japan. I would like to express my appreciation to AMB for their contributions in bringing great experiences and intercultural understanding to many Japanese students.
In conclusion, I would like to quote a few words from Mr Kaneko, the band director of FWO about this trip, “It is the very first overseas concert tour for FWO and all of us are very excited. We hope to promote friendship with AMB and RGS members and have a great time through music. By all means, please come to the concert and get excited!”
Concert Information: Harmony of Friendship 2017
Keiichi Kurokawa was born in Saitama, Japan in 1980. He graduated from Saitama University majoring in East Asian Cultures. He participated in wind band club while in school, playing trumpet in junior high and high school, and bass and alto clarinet at university. He began arranging during high school and since then has made many arrangements and compositions for wind band and chamber ensembles.
His arrangement, American Riverside Medley (Wind Band / Brass Band) was selected as one of test pieces of Singapore Youth Festival 2014. Almost his works are published from Brain / Bravo Music.
Kurokawa is now a music engraver and editor and a band director. He is a member of Japan Band Directors Association (JBA) and teaches computer music (notation software) at Yamaha Music Avenue Shibuya in Tokyo.