This year Senryu Taiko hosted the 24th annual Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, held on Memorial Weekend, May 26 and 27, 2018 at the University of California, Riverside. Initiated in 1995, The Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational (ITI) is an annual two-day gathering of collegiate players. This year’s participants included groups from California, Oregon, and Nevada. Students came to learn from influential taiko groups and players, to foster the next generation of taiko players, and to celebrate the diversity and heritage of this now global Japanese-rooted artform.
Senryu Taiko hosted roughly 200 students across many collegiate taiko groups, and more than 20 professional taiko players and masters. This a large scale event consisting of both collegiate and professional taiko players from locations such as California, Oregon, Hawaii, and Nevada. This year’s line-up of workshop leaders and teachers included Kenny Endo, Kris Bergstrom, Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Yuta Kato, TaikoProject, Kishin Daiko and more.
Collegiate participants had the opportunity to learn from the taiko masters themselves in various workshops throughout the two-day conference, allowing them exposure to the many different playing styles of taiko and various techniques to build upon their current taiko repertoire. Workshops included learning the iconic Yatai playing style from Chichibu, internalizing polyrhythmic patterns while playing taiko, a presentation on the evolution of taiko throughout history, and many more. In addition, all groups attending had the opportunity to showcase their own group in concerts held at the end of both days, playing original compositions and pieces. These concerts were completely free and open to the public, and was a wonderful opportunity to expose the greater community to the amazing talent of collegiate taiko players and the rich culture of Japanese taiko drumming.
Overall, attendees had a great time at this exciting weekend of taiko at Riverside. Senryu Taiko hopes that attendees were able to gain some knowledge and skills to take back to their respective groups, as well as all the memories that came from ITI.
Senryu Taiko also expresses it’s gratitude to the Taiko Community Alliance’s support through their Mini-Grant program. All collegiate taiko players and groups are encouraged to utilize this wonderful opportunity and also join the Taiko Community Alliance as a member.
Best wishes to next year’s host, Stanford Taiko!
For a closer look at the 2018 Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, visit the event site here.