“Never Give Up !”～The Voice of Fukushima to the World～
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, October 08, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT
Top-Ranked Women from New Jersey, Mothers from Fukushima will sing at Carnegie Hall's Japan-US
Choral and Instrumental Festival; Paramus resident will direct some of the performers
Ridgewood, New Jersey's leading, all-female Harmony Celebration Chorus and volunteer members from the Fukushima Mothers Chorus Association (FMCA, 140 singers) will perform at the 2nd Japan-US Choral and Instrumental Festival at Carnegie Hall, Saturday, October 19, 2013, 7:00 PM–9:00 PM, tickets $10.00 per person, http://www.japanuschorus2013.org/en/html/about.html , http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2013/10/19/0700/PM/Japan-USA-Chorus-Festival/ . Paramus, NJ, resident Mike Shirota, will direct some of the evening's performers.
"Indomitable Spirits": Although Homeless since 2011 Disasters, Survivors Sing
Some of the Fukushima mothers scheduled to perform are still forced to live in temporary housing. They are not yet permitted to return to their homes--in places like Minami Soma City and Iidate Village--which are located near the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Minami Soma was partially inundated by the tsunami that resulted from the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku earthquake. Immediately following the devastation, in May 2011 The Hagi Choir, from Sendai, another hard-hit area, showcased their indomitable spirits through their voices at the first Japan-US Choral Festival and received enthusiastic applause from New Yorkers who filled Carnegie Hall. Now the Fukushima mothers, despite the extreme difficulties they are enduring, will sing for New Yorkers with fortitude, also expressing their determination to “Never Give Up.”
Ms. Yuko Miyake, FMCA president says, “Our dream is coming true. We are very grateful and excited with the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall. This is not only the opportunity to deliver our cheerful voices of Fukushima to the people in New York, but also to express our deepest gratitude to all people in the world for their enormous support to Fukushima for the last 2 years”.
Concert from the "Heart" Inspired by Leading Haiku Poet
Japan's renowned haiku poet, Madoka Mayuzumi, was the one who initiated this epoch-making concert. Last year in March, the Heart of Japan Symposium & Concert was held in New York, and Tomo (Japan Choral Harmony), under the direction of Paramus, NJ's Mike Shirota, performed a song written by Ms. Mayuzumi and composed by Mr. Akira Senju, “Soshite, Haru (And Then, Spring)– From Fukushima to the World.” Mr. Shirota is also the director for the Japan-US Choral Festival as well as its producer, the 9/11 Circle Wind Memorial Concert, a Paramus-based nonprofit organization . Ms. Mayuzumi was compelled to write “Soshite, Haru” when she visited Fukushima after the earthquake struck.. In the lyrics, she incorporated imagery of the four seasons of Fukushima in order to remind us not to forget the city's beauty. In the upcoming event, the Mothers of Fukushima will be performing this piece at Carnegie Hall.
U.S. Representatives Join in Harmony
Representing the United States is a unique women’s barbershop chorus group called Harmony Celebration Chorus (HCC) from Ridgewood, NJ. HCC is one of the top-ranked barbershop-style chorus groups among over 700 groups under the organization of Sweet Adelines International.
Mr. Scott Brannon.HCC Master Director says, “We are very honored to have a concert with the mothers’ choir from Fukushima at Carnegie. We will welcome them in New York and help them deliver the power of voice together.”
Tomo, a choir led by Mr. Shirota and Japanese-American elementary school students from New York Ikuei Academy will also perform as well as Manhattan Symphony Orchestra led by Gregory Singer. They will perform an original requiem written for the victims of 3/11, entitled, “Memorial Processional.”
Additional Special Guests from Japan
Ms. Mayuzumi will also be joining the concert. She will present a commentary on “the heart of the Japanese,” giving background context for the lyrics to “Soshite, Haru.” She will also introduce selected haikus written by some Fukushima citizens immediately after the 3.11 devastation.
Ms. Kaoriko Kuge, FCI television-news anchor, who was the moderator for the first Choral Festival 2 years ago, will once again serve as a master of ceremony.
Performance Date： Saturday, October 19, 2013、7pm – 9pm
Venue： Carnegie Hall（Isaac Stern Hall）
881 Seventh Avenue (at West 57th Street)
New York, New York
Ticket Price： $10 per person
Tickets： Box Office of Carnegie Hall, or contact 212-247-7800 (Carnegie Hall)