25th Hokkaido Music Camp in Sapporo, Japan
by Ryoichi Tamaki
President of the Hokkaido Euphonium and Tuba Association
Tubist of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra
Edited by Daniel Perantoni
The 25th Sapporo “Music Camp” was held May 3–5, 2009 and hosted by the Hokkaido Euphonium and Tuba Association (H.E.T.A.). Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, which is in the northernmost part of Japan. There were 93 tuba and euphonium players gathered from across the country. Any age group from elementary school to college and beyond is eligible to attend. Participants form professional and personal bonds with other participants throughout an intensive three days, spending day and night together. We observed participants who on the first day were anxious but sad to leave on the final day, excited about their craft. Many participants found motivation for their daily practice in the days following, confirming to us the success of the camp.
(L-R): Katsushi Ushiwata, Roger Behrend, Koji Suzuki, Daniel Perantoni, and Ryoichi Tamaki.
Our association was established in 1981 around Chitate Kagawa, former tubist of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, with the aim of improving performing technique of tubists and euphonium players, increasing the level of music culture for youth. Our primary activities have been “Music Camp” and the publishing of our journal.
The brightest event in the history of H.E.T.A. was the 1990 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, held in Sapporo. This was the first time ITEC was held outside of the U.S.A., and we had great success with 510 participants from 14 countries. “Sapporo Mini Camp,” our one-day workshop, is held every winter for students around Sapporo. The current tuba player of Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Ryoichi Tamaki, now serves as a president of H.E.T.A. since 2007, and Chitate Kagawa is our honorary chairman.
We have invited top artists/teachers from Japan and overseas. This year, Roger Behrend, Daniel Perantoni, Katsushi Ushiwata (associate professor of Iwate University, Japan), Koji Suzuki (tubist of Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, Japan), and Ryoichi Tamaki (tubist of Sapporo Symphony Orchestra) gave lectures. Roger Bobo, Brian Bowman, Velvet Brown, Steven Mead, Samuel Pilafian, Harvey Phillips, and Robert Tucci among others have been guest artists in the past. As it is not common for these artists to hold concerts or lectures in Sapporo, we consider the role our association plays crucial.
Dan Perantoni leading a masterclass
Lectures are broken down to a variety of levels (a beginning class for those who have less than two years of playing experience, solo classes (with piano accompaniment) for primary and intermediary players, an advanced class, and finally an ensemble class. Lectures are based on solo literature which participants receive beforehand. Inconsistent experience of participants makes this level difficult for some. However, learning and reading difficult parts is covered in the lecture. On the 2nd day, the 22nd Harvey Phillips Solo Competition and 10th Brian Bowman Solo Competitions were held. Competitions are divided into divisions of under 15 years old, between 15 and 18 years old, and those 19 years old and older. Every year both Mr. Phillips and Mr. Bowman send us heartwarming words of encouragement.
Also on the schedule is a masterclass for competition participants. As we view this competition as a process of growth throughout the camp, we hold this class before the competition.
Participants and Guest Artists of the Music Camp
Every night, camp is concluded by faculty concerts. This exposes participants to professional grade performances of solos, duets, and trios.
Noteworthy contributions were made by pianists Ruka Ishii, Mio Nagai, and Tomoko Yoshino. Each pianist handled about twenty pieces for classes, recitals, and the competition. Instructors and participants alike gave much applause for their beautiful accompaniment. On the second night of the camp, participants were able to socialize at a party with artists from all over Japan.
CDs, musical scores, instruments etc. were on display during the camp. Participants stopped by the displays and were given a lot of information.
Roger Behrend leading a euphonium masterclass
Administrative duties were carried out by seven volunteers from our association. Needless to say, they dedicated themselves to making arrangements and coped admirably with a variety of problems during the session. Our staff consisted of participants who have attended camp in the past. They poured out their efforts from early morning to late at night. The camp was successful because of their dedication.
The 26th Music Camp will take place in Sapporo from May 2–4, 2010.
Note from Mr. P:
I was honored to be featured at the 25th Music Camp in Sapporo, Japan. I have had the privilege of being involved with this camp from its beginning. This was my sixth time that I have been featured as an artist teacher in Sapporo.
Chitate Kagawa had the dream and vision to form the Hokkaido Music Camp. His purpose was to provide students from all over Japan the opportunity to work with the major artist/teachers throughout the world. Beginning to advanced students get hands on experience with master teachers. I have proudly witnessed the outstanding development of the Japanese tuba and euphonium players’ over these 25 years. I attribute their success to the efforts of people like Chitate Kagawa and these great workshops. It was through Chitate Kagawa’s efforts and his ingenious leadership in association with the Hokkaido Euphonium and Tuba Association that this camp has become the best of its kind. Now his predecessor Ryoichi Tamaki is continuing this wonderful tradition. Bravo!
I am grateful to the Hokkaido Euphonium and Tuba Association for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful organization. Thank you for your generous hospitality and friendship!