Concert, origami proceeds go to Japanese relief project

Olivia Medovich
Staff writer

 

Along with the President’s Concert to benefit the Japan Band Relief Effort, ICALA students sold handmade origami and encouraged donations. || Melissa Ruhlman/The News

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble performed its annual President’s Concert Tuesday to benefit the Japan Band Relief Effort.

All donations contributed went to band students in Japan who were affected by the tsunami in March to help them continue their music education.

Dennis Johnson, conductor of the symphonic wind ensemble, said facilities and instruments used to teach music in Japan were lost in the tsunami.

Johnson said everyone was excited to help the people of Japan in some way.

“When the idea came that they were going to set up this fund for the program we jumped in with both feet,” Johnson said.

He said the members of the wind ensemble were thrilled to perform at the concert.

“They were excited when I first presented the songs they would play,” he said. “Then when they saw it all come together the past two weeks they realized they were part of something very special.”

Johnson said the members of the wind ensemble spent a lot of time practicing for their performance.

“It was very gratifying to see it all come together and become successful,” Johnson said.

Jasmine Restaurant gave 10 percent of all profits earned on Tuesday to the relief effort.

Casey Carter, manager of Jasmine’s, said the owners of the restaurant were pleased to help out with the cause.

“It looked like a good cause and they are in a time of need,” Carter said.

Ted Brown, dean of humanities and fine arts, said the concert is important because music enriches lives in every way around the world.

“We are pleased and proud to be part of this relief effort,” Brown said.

Brown said anyone who wishes to make a donation after the concert can do so by writing a check to the International Cultures and Languages Association and mailing them to the CHFA Dean’s Office.

At the concert, Mackenzie Chandler, sophomore from Paducah, Ky., greeted people at the door wearing a yukata, a Japanese traditional dress worn for special occasions.

Chandler said people involved with the concert hope to raise awareness of the after effects of the Tsunami.

Tables were set up in the lobby where people could make donations and purchase origami made by Japanese students at the University.

Shigenobu Kobayashi, consul general of Japan in Nashville, attended the concert and said the support expressed by so many Americans to Japan is deeply appreciated.

“On behalf of the people and government in Japan, I’d like to express our deepest appreciation for your generous support of the ongoing relief efforts in Tohoku, Japan, the are most affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March,” Kobayashi said.

The symphonic wind ensemble performed five pieces at the concert.

Johnson said the turnout for the concert was pleasing.

“We had 600 programs printed out and only had three or four left,” Johnson said. “The crowd was very encouraging.”

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