Saitama Prefectural Kumagaya Girls’ High School — the 39th Annual Concert


The 39th Annual Concert of Saitama Prefectural Kumagaya Girls’ High School Wind Band was successfully held on 5th May. 🎺

There are indeed bands of a higher standard than ours, but the students delivered an amazingly high-quality concert under their given circumstances!

I began teaching this band in the last school year, starting in April 2023. I usually visit the school about three times a month, but I can confidently say that we have had a productive and enriching 13 months!

This band typically practises for about 9 hours a week, which contrasts with most high-standard school bands that often practise for nearly 30 hours or more. Some foreign band directors have told me that “Japanese bands practise for extremely long hours. We cannot do that.” My mindset has been to see how much we can achieve under these circumstances, with most of the activities being done by students themselves. Paradoxically, my experiences abroad as well as conducting community bands in Japan have been incredibly helpful.

The students’ significant growth in both music and character, especially in the last month, deeply impressed me every time I saw them. This concert was the final performance for the third-grade students. Honestly, I wished we could continue performing together, but the experience of the last competition with them made this high-quality concert possible. We can’t have both.

It was surely a wonderful time for me to see the students exceed expectations.

The band welcomed many new members last month. The number of first graders is double that of third graders. I will continue to work hard with the current members to ensure they have fruitful and rewarding days ahead!