posted September 11, 2006

Visiting Musicians from Japan to Perform

Visiting students and faculty from Ferris University in Japan will perform during three concerts at Hope College between September 14 and 19.

Students from the university will be performing on their own and in collaboration with Hope College students in two different concerts. In addition, Akira Watanabe, who is an honorary professor at Ferris University and one of four faculty members traveling with the 23 students, will be performing and lecturing on "A Poetic Daily Tripbook of Basho."

The public is invited to all three of the performances. Admission is free.

Watanabe's performance will take place on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music. The first part of the program will be a performance, and after a break he will lecture on the "Haiku of Basho." He has sung throughout the world and with a number of opera companies. He is currently the head of the Japanese Singing Association, and teaches at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Several students from Ferris University will perform on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music. The program will include piano works by Aleksandr Skryabin, flute pieces by Toru Takemitsu, a Japanese song by Sadao Bekku, and a violin work by Nicolo Paganini. The evening will conclude with an arrangement of Japanese songs set for an orchestra, which will be performed by the students.

The students from Japan will then perform a joint concert with the Hope College Symphonette and Women's Chamber Choir on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The Symphonette will open the September 19 concert with a work by Antonin Dvorak and will be joined by the Ferris University students for "Divertimento in D Major, K.136" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Women's Chamber Choir will collaborate with the Ferris University students for a spiritual, "Keep Your Lamps!," the American Shaker hymn, "'Tis the Gift to Be Simple," and finally with Katie Moran Bart's "Blessing." Other works will also fill out the evening performance.

Ferris Girls' School was established in 1870 by Mary Kidder, the first Reformed Church in America single woman missionary to Japan. The four-year college with two departments (English literature and Japanese literature) was added in 1965. The Junior College was disbanded in the mid-1980s and the music department became a part of the four-year college; a few years later a graduate school was added and the institution became a university.

The students and faculty are visiting at Hope College from Wednesday, Sept. 13, through Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Nykerk Hall of Music is located along the former 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.