Every year, one collegiate taiko group welcomes the collegiate taiko community to their college campus to learn from the masters of the art form and share what each group has accomplished. This is the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, started in 1995 focusing on west coast collegiate groups. Yet, with no institutional memory, each time a school hosts the event, some part of the wheel needed to be reinvented, causing a heavy burden on the hosting school.
Over the past two years, Taiko Community Alliance (TCA) has been looking to become the institutional memory for these collegiate groups. At first, recent alumni of various collegiate groups came together to create an online knowledge base of resources for new hosts. New hosts were provided with templates for reaching out to workshop leaders, a master timeline to keep students on track of what needed to be done early, and a run down of how to manage their budget.
While this database was a go-to place for help, it was really the interaction between the TCA advisory team and the host schools that allowed unique challenges to be solved. The TCA Collegiate Taiko Advisory Group (CTAG) met with Jodaiko of UC Irvine in 2014-2015 and Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan of UC Davis in 2015-2016 once a month to give suggestions on the planning process. This was also a chance for TCA to find out how college students view taiko as an art form and network as well aw how TCA could best support the collegiate community moving forward.
In a similar manner, this committee is advising Brown/RISD Gendo Taiko who will be hosting the 2017 East Coast Taiko Conference. The ITI Committee has explored the opportunities for collegiate groups to approach their respective music departments to be considered an official music group. This would open up many opportunities, including access to more funding, storage and practice space, for the collegiate taiko groups.
Collegiate taiko is an essential part of the taiko community, and often serves as a key point of introduction for many taiko players. They fall in love with the art form and many students continue to play taiko after college. In TCA’s 2013 Taiko Census, the respondent age demographic with the highest response rate was ages 18-25.
It is important for all corners of the taiko community to be counted in this year’s census to allow TCA to learn about the needs of the collegiate taiko community and how they are similar or different from the greater taiko community. So #getcounted before May 31st!
Submitted by: Jane Lin, TCA Board Secretary, Stanford Taiko 2008-2013
TCA’s goal is to expand our methods of supporting the collegiate taiko community. If you would like to join our team or have any suggestions about how TCA can support the collegiate taiko community, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERCOLLEGIATE TAIKO INVITATIONAL 2016 runs from Friday May 27th through Sunday May 30th hosted by Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan at the University of California- Davis.