Some readers of The Band Post may remember Japanese High School Band Fudooka Wind Orchestra [埼玉県立不動岡高等学校吹奏楽部/FWO] of Saitama Prefectural Fudooka High School from Kazo, Saitama Prefecture in Japan in their first Singapore concert two years ago.
According to FWO’s conductor Mr Kazuaki Kaneko, the band’s previous trip to Singapore was a meaningful experience for his students. Their experiences of the international exchange had influenced the choice of major in university for some of the students.
Prior to this tour, the band has participated in two competitions and achieved remarkable results. It won the 58th Saitama Prefecture Band Competition Category A and qualified for the third stage, which only 9 of 140 high school bands are allowed to perform. The band also attained Gold prize at this year’s Saitama New Year Band Competition.
Back in 2018, the band has also hosted Michaelian Military Band (MMB) of St. Michael’s Institution from Ipoh, Malaysia in June, and Anderson Military Band (AMB) of Anderson Secondary School from Singapore in November. Both bands participated in combined band practices and performances with FWO, and also experienced Japanese academic classes.
Band Tour to Singapore and Malaysia 2019
This year in 2019, the Fudooka Wind Orchestra will visit both Ipoh and Singapore for combined concerts with both MMB and AMB. With the friendship already forged, this trip would bond the bands into a closer relationship.
A Friendship Concert presented by the Michaelian Military Band
Date : 25 March 2019
Time : 7:30 p.m.
Venue : Dewan Lee Loy Seng, SJK(C) Yuk Choy, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tickets: RM 30 (Normal) / RM50 (Gold), Available from any SMI Band members or their FB page
“In 2018, the Michaelian Military Band participated in an exchange programme with Fudooka Wind Orchestra in Saitama, Japan. This exchange programme was the first of its kind for the MMB as it was also the very first time the band has travelled to a foreign country to have an exchange programme. This year, MMB will reach another milestone by having the honour to host the FWO and together they will hold an unprecedented exchange concert between a Malaysian and Japanese band on Malaysian soil on the 25th of March, entitled MUSIC・CONNECTS,’ Mr Chong Wai Mun, conductor of Michaelian Military Band said.
Harmony of Friendship 2019
An International Exchange Concert presented by the Anderson Military Band
Date : 28 March 2019
Time : 6:30 p.m.
Venue : Anderson Secondary School Hall
“Anderson Military Band (AMB) and Fudooka Wind Orchestra (FWO) have been good friends for a few years now. Having had two collaborations in Singapore and Japan so far, both schools have forged great friendships. AMB is super duper excited for the next party in the 2019 Harmony of Friendship concert on 28 March!” Nur Amirah, AMB Band Major said.
The two concerts in Malaysia and Singapore will feature guest conductor, Mr Tsuneyoshi Kasaoka, the former band director of Hiroshima Municipal Funairi High School Wind Band, which AMB hosted and have visited in previous exchange programs. This is a symbolic testament to AMB’s rich heritage of worldwide friendship.
In conclusion, I would like to quote a few words from Mr Kaneko, the band director of FWO about this trip, “We are very glad to have exchanges with our AMB and MMB friends. As we already had joint activities in June and November 2018, it makes our upcoming trip much more exciting. We look forward to seeing you at the concerts!”
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.