Concert Admission Is Free & Open to the Public (Ticket Required); Voluntary Donations Gratefully Accepted; 100% of Donations Go to City of Sendai & Miyagi Prefecture
Paramus, New Jersey, resident Mike Shirota will co-conduct a very special choral concert soon at Carnegie Hall. In addition to the chorus that Mr. Shirota directs, The HAGI Choir, led by acclaimed Music Director Mitsuharu Okazaki and comprised of the finest voices from earthquake- and tsunami-stricken Sendai, Japan, will sing at the Japan-US Chorus Charity Concert for Sendai at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, New York, New York, on Friday, May 20, 2011 from 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM, www.japanuschorus.org/event_eng.html.
Carnegie Hall is located at 881 Seventh Avenue (at West 57th Street). Doors open at 7:30 PM. Admission is free. Voluntary donations to the Sendai Relief Fund will be gratefully accepted. One-hundred percent of donations to the Sendai Relief Fund will go directly to the city of Sendai and Miyagi Prefecture. For donations visit www.japanuschorus.org and for complimentary tickets contact CarnegieCharge, 212-247-7800, www.carnegiehall.org. The evening's MC will be popular Fuji TV broadcaster Ms. Kaoriko Kuge.
Also featured will be the Alexandria Harmonizers, a leading American choral group that has won fifteen International Chorus Medals including four world championships, and that has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center, the US Supreme Court Historical Society and in previous engagements at Carnegie Hall.
Three additional choral groups will share a stage at the event: the Men's Glee Club of Tokyo & Kansai, which has a large following in greater Tokyo and Osaka; the Men's Glee Club of New York, comprised of Japanese businessmen living and working in greater New York; and the White Pine Glee Club (Detroit), whose members include Japanese businessmen currently working in the American auto industry.
Japanese Choral Harmony (JCH), a new choir consisting of chorus lovers within the Japanese community in New York and headed by Concert Director Mike Shirota, will share the stage with the HAGI Choir during the final segment of the program. JCH and HAGI will be accompanied by Japanese 4th grade - 9th grade students for one song during the final stage.
"We are honored that The HAGI Choir has chosen to appear despite the recent 7.4 and 9.0 earthquakes and tsunami that struck northeast Japan," said Mr. Shirota. "That they are coming despite having lost family, friends and loved ones and despite the fact that some choir members are among the missing demonstrates the hidden strength and indomitable spirit of the people of Sendai."
Before the tragedy Mr. Shirota, who resides in New Jersey but is originally from Sendai, had organized a Japan-US goodwill choral festival featuring The HAGI Choir, to be held at Carnegie Hall on the same (May 20th) date. After the tragedy he considered cancelling the date. However, upon receiving word from HAGI Choir President Maki Suemitsu and several choir members that they still desired to make the trip, Shirota decided to go forward. He formed the Sendai Relief Fund to raise donations to aid in recovery, and he gave the concert its new name and purpose.
"Hagi" is the flower of Miyagi Prefecture and its capital city, Sendai. Mr. Okazaki, dedicated to the development of a world-class choral group from Sendai, had already hand-picked and was tirelessly rehearsing many of Sendai's finest voices in preparation for the upcoming performance when the earthquake and tsunami struck. The HAGI Choir will soon resume rehearsals, even as members spend nearly all of their time aiding in recovery efforts.
Concert Supporters include the Consulate General of Japan in New York and in Detroit, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York and The Nippon Club, New York. www.japanuschorus.org