On May 24th, the 3rd Interntional Kids Day was held from 10:00~16:00 at Kobe Fashion Mart. During the event, international schools from all over Japan including CA hosted events and the event was very exciting! There were international food booths and we were able to enjoy cuisines from all around the world! I loved the Mexican tacos, takoyaki and cold, refreshing kakigori!!
International Kids Day!!
One of the booths CA hosted was the garage sale and we sold books for 200 yen each that were donated by CA students, teachers and parents. During the book sale, I sorted the books neatly, helped the customers choose books and helped them when they wanted to know something. There was a huge variety of books and although the books were very cheap, there were a lot of really interesting books and I bought four books for 500 yen after the discount! From 11:00~12:50, I worked for about 2 hours. As soon as I finished my duty, I ran to the food booths and grabbed a tacos and takoyaki. After working for 2 hours, I was very hungry and so I devoured it in a few minutes!
After that, I continued on to work for about 2 hours in the cupcake booth from 13:05~15:00. I helped the little kids choose their toppings and decorate their cupcakes. It was very enjoyable as I felt really good when they had big smiles on their faces when they finished decorating their toppings. There was a variety of toppings they were able to put on their cupcakes. There were hershey chocolate chips, colourful jelly beans, kisses, marshmallows, sprinkles, oreo cookies and m&ms. The cupcakes looked so yummy and I loved helping out at the booth.
Overall, I worked for 4 hours during the International Kids Day and I felt really good to know that a lot of schools were supporting the Tohoku people and it was great as I had a lot of fun!
On Friday May 23rd, the MS Instrumental Spring Concert was held. Before the concert and during the intermission, the Tohoku Team sold baked goods for 1oo yen each. I baked ten cupcakes, including five plain cupackes and five cupcakes with chocolate chips. In order to make the plain cupcakes, I had to make the base first. I mixed flour, egg and milk with a whisk for about 10 minutes. Then, I made the creamy butter by melting the butter, mixing it with milk and putting a bit of sugar intil it was sweet and creamy, which took about 30 minutes. Then, I mixed the base and the butter and stirred it with the whisk for another 10 minutes. Then, pouring all of the mixture neatly in the cup took 1o minutes. While the plain cupcakes were baking in the oven, I made the chocolate cupcakes. I repeated the process again but added the small chocolate chips which took and additional 10 more minutes. When the cupcakes were done and just right, I packaged them neatly and put cute, Japanese stickers on which took approximately 20 minutes. Therefore in total, I took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. When the bake sale was over, all of the goods were sold and I was very glad. Baking the goods were enjoyable and I felt very good inside to be able to help the people in Tohoku.
On April 27th (Sun.), The Tohoku Kick N’ Jam was held to raise money for the people who were affected by the Tohoku Disaster. During the event, the Tohoku Team sold goods such as popcorn, drinks, ice-cream, baked goods, hot dogs and burritos. Also, the concert band played several pieces including “Beyond the Sea” by Charles Trenet. For the bake sale, I made twisted sugar donuts. In order to make it, it took approximately 2 hours. First, I made melted butter by melting the butter, mixing it with milk and putting a bit of sugar so it was soft and creamy. That took 20 minutes. Then, I mixed cream, butter and sugar in a large bowl until it was light and fluffy. That took about 15 minutes. Then, I beat in egg and milk which took 10 minutes. Then, I combined flour and baking powder and gradually added it to the creamed mixture I made and mixed it well. That took about 20 minutes. When the dough was done, I seperated it into small portions and twisted each one so it would be twisted donuts. It was very challenging as the shape of it had to be appealing and I kept on failing at first. However, after i tried and tried, I succeeded. I then did the same to the other nine portions. Twisting all of the donuts took about 40 minutes. While the donuts were baking in the oven, I prepared the wrapping. When the donuts were done baking, I wrapped it and decorated it with stickers. That took 20 minutes. Therefore, the baking portion of the Kick N’ Jam took approximately 2 hours. For the selling portion of the Kick N’ Jam, I worked for about 6 hours. I arrived at 09:30 to set up the stalls and prepare for the bake sale. I organized the goods and prepared to sell the goods to the customers. As some people could not come, I helped out more than I was expecting to help. I worked from 09:30 to 15:30. However, I went to the cafeteria for 30 minutes to listen to the concert band and the singers. Therefore, I worked for about 5 and a half hours during the bake sale.
Selling the goods at the Kick N’ Jam!!
In total including the baking and selling portion, I worked for approximately 7 and a half hours. Although helping out for the Tohoku Kick N’ Jam took a lot of time and effort, it really felt good to help and I felt it was my duty to help the people who were devastated by the Tsunami. Therefore, I really enjoyed it and I think it it was a wonderful opportunity to help the people.
On April 18th (Fri.), the HS Spring Instrumental Concert was held and the HS Orchestra, Symphonic Winds/ Jazz Ensemble and the concert band performed several pieces. I was able to play “Bacchanale” with the HS orchestra and it was a great privilige for me to be able to perform in the concert. Although it took a lot of effort and time, it really payed off and the performance was a great success! I really loved the piece as it was very energetic and powerful. As part of the ‘special guests’, Mr. Cook (french horn), a few MS students and Mr. Shirai (violin) played as well. When I first saw Mr. Shirai during rehearsal, I was wondering why he felt awfully similar. I was thinking to myself until I realized who he was. He was the cashier! I was so surprised that I almost fell off my chair! His wife, Mrs. Shirai played the harpsichord during the Allegro of Brandenburg Concerto No.3 (abridged) by Johann S. Bach. I also loved the piece “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar arranged by M. Bender. It was a beautiful piece and the melody was very soothing.
HS Orchestra & ‘Special Guests’ playing Bacchanale
Ms. Shirai playing the harpsichord
My favourite piece which was played by the Jazz Ensemble was “Beyond The Sea” as I had heard it a lot of times and it was really jazzy! I also loved “Walkin’ the Dawg“. It was a really cool piece and I felt like dancing around!! Mr. O’Kane played the Electric Bass and he made the piece much more jazzier and it was very enjoyable!
Walkin’ The Dawg
Finally to wrap up the concert, the HS orchestra played “Andromeda” which was absolutely wonderful. Andromeda is a name of a constellation and the piece reminded me of the wide universe.
Owing to Ms. Constantini and Mr. Vest and of course the musicians, it was a great success and congratulations to the seniors! I really think being able to play with HS orchestra was a great opportunity and again, I would like to thank Ms. Constantini. Thank you so much!!!
On April 4th, the middle and high school students from choir sang a lot of songs including slow, beautiful songs and rhythmic and fun songs. As an example of the exercise pieces we normally sing, the 6th grade choir sang “Waterspout” by Trad. Canon. “Waterspout” is a round song and we sang in different parts. And to make things super duper interesting, we sang in six parts! Although some melody lines were buried by the other strong melody lines, we tried to keep our melody line and it was a great success!
The next piece we sang was “Zum Gali Gali”, an Israeli Folk Song arranged by D. Shwartz. Ms. Matsuzawa accompanied us and I think the melody of the treble part really matched up with the alto and octave parts and created a great harmony.
The third piece was “When I Close My Eyes” by Jim Papoulis, accompanied by Ms. Matsuzawa. “When I Close My Eyes” is a beautiful, soft song and I really love the lyrics. “When I close my eyes, then I can see. When I close my eyes, I’m alive….” There is also a rhythmic part in the middle which is very enjoyable to sing. “Now I am learning the magic within me and that is the reason I’m standing so tall…”
The final piece that wrapped up the 6th Grade Choir performance was “My Favourite Things” by O. Hammerstein & R. Rodgers, arranged by C. Warnick. Ms. Fortier accompanied us and I really enjoyed singing the piece as it is one of my all-time favourite songs! It has a light, fun melody and it makes me smile to sing about my favourite things! “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes… These are a few of my favourite things… ”
During the Middle School Choir Performance, I was able to accompany the choir during the piece “Fields of Gold” by G.M. Sumner, arranged by R. Emerson. It is an absolutely wonderful piece and I really loved how the solo part and alto part combined and created a splendid melody.
However what I want to say clearly is that the page-turner has a huge responsiblity as well as the player and that as the player’s hands are full, the page-turner has to concentrate even more and make sure that they are following precisely. Recognising that being a page-turner has a lot of responsiblity and that you are in a very important position in which if you make a mistake, the player will be greatly affected is extremely important. Being a page-turner and following precisely is as important as being a guide dog for the blind. If the dog mistakes and leads the blind person to a very busy road with a lot of cars, the blind person will die.
During the first part of the performance, my page-turner turned the page at about half of the 3-page sheet remaining and it was the same as having the whole piece being dropped onto the ground and I really suffered. During the “few minutes of absolute horror”, I panicked greatly. However, Mr. McHugh, the choir and I arranged it inside our heads without stopping and veered it on to the right course again. Although the page-turner was able to turn the page precisely during the practices, that did not happen at the real perfomance and it greatly affected Mr. McHugh, the choir and I. That might result in losing trust. Therefore, when being a page-turner it is essential to concentrate and recognise that you have a tremendously big responsibility.
However owing to Mr. McHugh and the choir, we were able to continue successfully and after the performance, we were given a loud applause and I felt very relieved and I think it was a very interesting experience!! It was a great privilige for me to be able to accompany the choir and I was overjoyed to be able to be part of the choir! Thank you so much Mr. McHugh!!!
A piece the Middle School Choir sang which I absolutely loved was “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison, the lead guitarist of the internationally famous band, “The Beatles”!! The piece was arranged by A. Billingsley and accompanied by Ms. Fortier. It had a fun, nice melody and I really liked the bright lyrics. “Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo), Here comes the sun and I say it’s all right…”
On December 5th, there was a band concert and before, after the concert and during the mission, Mr. Smailes and other students held a bake sale. For the bake sale, I made jam cream cakes and I worked for approximately 2 hours. In order to make the cream, it took 30 minutes as I had to use the mixer, put ice in it, put the ingredients in and make it just right. Also in order to make the sponge cake, it took around 50 minutes to make the soft, fluffy sponge cake. After that, it took 20 minutes to put strawberry jam and the cream on the cakes neatly. Packaging, sticking stickers and decorating it took 20 minutes, therefore in total I worked for approximately 2 hours to make the jam cream cake for the bake sale. Also after the concert, I worked for about 20 minutes, selling the goods and packing up. Therefore in total, I worked for 2 hours and 20 minutes during the Bake Sale.
Making goods was a great way to raise money for the Thai Kids and it felt really good to know that we had helped a lot of students go to school.