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February 24, 2024

Symphonic band to tour Japan for 12 days

Augustana’s symphonic band will tour Japan during spring break, performing and attending concerts.
The band, including 61 members, will visit Osaka, Kyoto, the mountainous village of Hakone and Tokyo.
The band will spend 12 days in Japan, leaving Feb. 20 and arriving in Chicago March 5.
“It’s a pretty diverse trip,” said Sam Schlouch, manager of arts events and communication. “We’ll get to see the cities but then also the countryside as well.”
The band will play pieces organized by Schlouch, Director of Bands James Lambrecht and senior Mitchell Carter.
Carter is the principal percussionist of the trip and staff manager, a liaison between faculty and band students. The band will bring instruments as well as borrow and rent instruments in Japan, Carter said.
“They actually have some really stunning and impressive groups over there,” said Carter, “and we’re going to hear several junior highs and high schools in addition to college performances. They’re supposed to be just world-class groups.”
Carter said Lambrecht and Schlouch decided to organize a Japan tour because of Lambrecht’s musical ties to the country and the musical movements of Japan.
Lambrecht has been a guest conductor twice with the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble in Tokyo.
“He has a really strong connection with a lot of the cultural and musical aspects that are going on in Japan right now,” said Carter.
Schlouch said Japan has a great appreciation for wind instruments.
“Japan has a really rich tradition, actually I would say it’s an emerging tradition as well, around wind ensembles,” said Schlouch.
According to the Recording Industry Association of Japan, the country was the second largest music market in 2012 next to the U.S.
“It’s also really interesting to watch Japan grow as a musical nation,” Carter said. “The whole band movement, it’s traditionally something that’s more of a western endeavor.”
While only a few band students knew a little of the Japanese language, the band has received basic seminars on it by Mari Nagase, assistant professor in Asian languages.
“The nice thing about Japan, or Japanese people in general, they’re very understanding and they’re very accommodating,” said Schlouch.
Schlouch and Carter are looking forward to traveling to Japan but also the musical interactions students will encounter while there.
“There’s just a lot of really unique music connections on a personal level and a more global scale,” said Carter.

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Symphonic band to tour Japan for 12 days