Testimonial Essay


1 Participating in Sendai High School Green Band

Sendai High School, Band Director

Masami Hoshina

Our band consisted of 35 participants; 33 students and two coaches. We performed mainly three times; solo performance at Disneyland, ensemble performances at the kindergarten and Green Concert at its studying center in the home-stay area.

During our stay, nice families took good care of us in the small town of Hollywood. It was like being in one scene of gWizard of Ozh. We learned to support each other, staying with host families. Moreover, we learned how much our own family meant to us. It would not be easy for Japanese families to take care of this many students for a long time. However, our host families were kind enough to take good care of us. They were very impressed by our performance. We greatly appreciate their generous support.

A few years later, our students graduated. They had a wonderful high school life, and achieved their goals. Some of them went on to music schools or non-music related universities, and they are participating in the bands actively.


2 Participating in ALL MIYAGI GREEN BAND 1   

President of Tohoku Band Association/Miyagi Band Association

Hisayoshi Mitsuzuka

As a group of 51 junior and high school students and seven coaches, we participated in the ALL MIYAGI GREEN BAND for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Miyagi Band Association. We were concerned about how the instrumental organization would turn out when we first looked for members. However, as a result, we became a band of highly talented gartistsh. We had four or five meetings and practices before leaving Japan.

Every one or two students stayed with different families as home-stay in California. On the first day, one student was crying for being afraid, but she was smiling after getting used to the life there. Eventually, they told us they would not want to go home when they learned that our departure was just around the corner. So many people came to our concert, and they loved it!  Six years have passed since then. Most of them are college students or working now. Sometimes, we get together and talk about the concert. They would always say, gI would love to go there again!h

3 Participating in ALL MIYAGI GREEN BAND 2
In 1999, we participated in the Green Band. Our students seemed to learn to play as they liked. Coming back from America, I learned to perceive music from a different point of view. Further, one of the students became the leader of the band although she thought of quitting before going to America. After seeing the fabulous performances of gsenpaih, two junior high students decided to come to our school to play in our band. Lastly, I think that this trip did us a lot of good.


Osaka Mainichi Newspaper[Morning Edition

December 21, 2004

Brass-band creates green mountains

Talented young wind-instrument musicians from high school orchestras around Hyogo Prefecture perform tree-planting charity concerts to aid in recovering damage caused by forest fires in the United States.

The group, which leaves for California tomorrow (December 22, 2004), says they want to convey gthe spirit of rehabilitation.h

In October, 2003, 13 different forest fires broke out in Southern California, consuming about 300,000 hectares@ (or almost 1.5 times the Tokyo area).

In order to contribute to the tree-planting campaign for the disaster-stricken area in Southern California, which was devastated by massive forest fires last year, the Akashi Green Band will be visiting America on the 22nd of this month to participate in a fund-raising charity concert.

The 70-member brass band consists of students from three schools in Hyogo Prefecture, including Akashikita High School, Akashiminami High School (both public schools), and Kobe Daiichi High School (a private school). A number of the participants have themselves been victims of disaster in the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Their experience has given them a great desire to convey gthe spirit of rehabilitation which overcomes disaster.h

The group will stay in the US until January 6, 2005, in conjunction with Greener Planet Movement (GPM). GPM is an international non-profit organization, headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, which promotes environmental awareness and organizes fund-raising campaigns using talented young artists who perform charity concerts and hold art exhibitions and auctions for tree-planting. While in the US, they will give three performances at universities and other venues. Donations received for the performances will be presented to the Forest Conservation Organization. The students will also participate with local high schools in tree-planting activities.

Band-leader and coach Hirofumi Yokoyama (42) is also a past earthquake victim. His home was partially destroyed by the Kobe Earthquake, and his parentsf house completely demolished. He recalls transporting many bodies, including three of his own relatives, to their place of rest. Mr. Yokoyama says, gI naturally thought at the time that I wanted to be of help in some way to anybody I could. Now that we have a chance again to help, we are very happy that we can increase or replenish the number of trees by way of our musical performances.h Student band-leader Naoya Toki (17), a 2nd grade student at Akashikita High School, also experienced the trauma of natural disaster as the earthquake hit his house in Chuo-Ku, Kobe. He says, gI will be happy if the commonality of traumatic experiences brought upon us through natural disaster will help us to understand each other. I think the enjoyment of music helps dissolve the barriers of language and culture.h

Hisashi Hiramatsu, vice-chairman of the board of directors of the All Japan Band Association says, gIt is a wonderful thing that these performances can help preserve nature and give joy to the people. I believe that by participating in many different things our students can make a positive difference in strengthening international understanding.h

On top of their concert performances, the group will also make a monumental appearance in the Disneyland Christmas Parade on December 29, being the first Japanese group to have ever done so. When they return to Japan, students from Akashikita High School will participate in the Earthquake Disaster Rehabilitation Parade, held at the Motomachi Shopping Center, Chuo-ku, Kobe, on the 15th of January.

Daily News Paper (MAINICHI News Paper) in JAPAN

March 24, 2005

Stop Global Warming:

Produced by (Japanese) high school students from Kyoto.

13 students will hold an exhibition and charity auction of their artwork,  at the Greener [Planet] Project held in Rotorua New Zealand.

13 (Japanese) students from Kyoto City Doda Senior High School of Arts took their artwork to NZ for an Exhibition and Charity Auction to raise funds for planting trees. The Rotorua Green Exhibition , organized by International NPO Greener Planet Movement (GPM) opens its doors on March 17, 2005 at the Rotorua City Museum (RAVE) in NZ. 9 of the students will be stay in Rotorua until March 24, for the activities which include tree planting, interacting with local art students, and producing art of the natural beauty of Rotorua that they will take back to Kyoto Japan for a similar exhibition and auction, there.

Rotorua is located in the North Island. The community recently lost many trees due to the extension of its airport runway to facilitate international tourist flights, including those from Japan. To restore the greenery lost in the extension, GPM (headquartered in Kyoto) is organizing an art exhibition in this city.

Megumi Sakakida (18), who received the Rotorua Mayor's Prize in GPM's 2nd Rotorua Exhibition in July 2004, was instrumental in making this year's exhibition possible by inviting her friends from her art school to participate. Miss Sakakida, an art student majoring in design at a Kyoto high school, participated in the first Exhibition in Rotorua in March 2004, at the recommendation of her teacher. Her artwork (planting a green globe seed in a forest) was selected by the Mayor of Rotorua last year. Of this Miss Sakakida said, "I am very impressed and happy that we can contribute to tree planting through our artwork. I invited my friends for this trip, and they decided to participate right away."

Miss Sakakida and 8 of her friends (also art students) arrived in Rotorua on March 16 to prepare for and run the exhibition. Together they have created about 70 pieces of art, including drawings, sculptures and pottery. They will be on display, including an English.