Stanford Taiko

Stanford Taiko

Stanford, California, United States

Founded 1992

Basic Information

    Stanford University
    Artistic Director(s), PooBah(s - Administrative Directors), Performance Director, Financial Manager, Audition Coordinator, Spring Concert Coordinator, Invitational Coordinator

Background Information

Group's Mission and Motivation

Stanford Taiko remains true to the goals of its original charter to (i) present taiko to the Stanford community, and (ii) to educate the community about taiko. In addition to performances, the group holds regular workshops for community members, supports the Music Department seminar Perspectives on North American Taiko and participates annually in the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, founded by Stanford Taiko in 1995. Also, in a collaborative project with San Jose Taiko and the Stanford Music Department, each July Stanford Taiko supports the Summer Taiko at Stanford day camp for children 9-12 years of age. In keeping with the forward-looking philosophy of this ever-changing collegiate organization, Stanford Taiko helped develop the Luis Lujan Memorial Scholarship, a fund to support taiko learning and research. Though the faces of Stanford Taiko change with the regularity of the four-year collegiate cycle, the energy of the organization remains forward-moving as we work to keep the taiko spirit strong and steady in the Stanford community and share our music, our energy, and our art with all those who will be drawn in.

Group History
Describe how, where, and why the ensemble was founded. What was its inspiration?

The seeds for Stanford Taiko were planted in a class taught by Susan Hayase, former member of San Jose Taiko, as part of a special program of Stanford Workshops on Political and Social Issues (SWOPSI). The class contextualized the art of taiko by discussing its link to the Japanese American experience and inspired Ann Ishimaru (BA '93, AM '94) and Valerie Mih (BA '92) to apply for an Undergraduate Research Opportunity grant to research and build a taiko. Stanford Taiko took root in the winter of 1992 after Ann, Val, and friends completed the first drum and invited fellow SWOPSI course graduates and other interested people to form a taiko ensemble on Stanford campus. Since that time Stanford Taiko has grown to an ensemble of 16-18 with an all-original repertoire and the sponsorship of the Stanford Music Department.

List of Current Members

Will Bishop ('06), Rina Chang ('07), Ro-El Cordero ('06), Soo-Rae Hong ('07), Alix Koyama ('05), Michelle Kwon ('07), Jessica Lee ('08), Emi Manuia ('08), Richard Nkansah ('06), Yoko Okano ('06), Deni Poganis ('08), Rudi Rubio ('08), Dylan Solomon ('05), Cathy Tio ('06), Adam Toda ('06), David Wells ('07), Mike Zhang ('06)

Performances, Recordings, Publications

List a selection of your regular performance venues (for example, Denver Sakura Matsuri, Seabrook obon, business conventions, Manzanar Pilgrimage, Maui Marathon, etc.)

Regular on-campus performances: annual spring concert, Baccalaureate, Admit Weekend, New Student Orientation, Parent's Weekend, concerts in student residences. Off-Campus Performances: educational programs in local elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. International Tour Performances: Japan (2000: Hakodate, Nanae, Kita-Hiroshima), Thailand (2004: Bangkok, including the National Theater, National School for the Arts, also concerts in Northern Thailand, including Yonok College).

Instructors, Teachers & Mentors
List the instructors, teachers and mentors who have worked with the ensemble.

PJ & Roy Hirabayashi, Wisa Uumura, Franco Imperial (San Jose Taiko), Shoji Kameda, Masato Baba, Kris Bergstron, Michelle Fujii, Yuta Kato (On Ensemble), Tony & Val Jones (Zenshin Daiko), Russel Baba & Jeanne Mercer (Shasta Taiko), Ann Ishimaru & Zack Semke (Portland Taiko), Kenny Endo, Eitetsu Hayashi, Kodo/KASA, Mark Miyoshi, Gary Tsujimoto, Nancy Ozaki, Susan Hayase.

Non-Taiko Collaborators
List a selection of non-taiko players or groups that have collaborated with the ensemble.

Stanford Chamber Chorale, Stanford University Singers, Stanford Symphonic Chorus, Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, Talisman A Cappella, Noopur (Bharata Natyam, classical dance form from South India).


Steve Sano, Linda Uyechi
Department of Music, Braun Music Center, Stanford University, 541 Lasuen Mall
(650) 723-1570


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