Dear friends, this past thursday we had the pleasure of performing at the Asian Pacific Graduation ceremony (AP Grad), which commemorates all graduating Asian/Asian-Pacific students. This is one of our annually requested performances, and we’ve come to see it as one of our favorites, because we get to perform one last time with our graduating members!
This officially marked our last school-related performance of the spring 2015 semester, but we finished it off in style with two of our most dynamic pieces- Dokokara and RDF (Rising Dragon Fist). It was so much fun to play with our graduating seniors one last time, and we send our congratulations as they and the rest of the class of 2015 prepare to walk tomorrow morning.
Its hard to believe but we’re finally here… the end of the semester! It has been a truly amazing year, and what better way to commemorate a successful season and an amazing spring concert than with our annual spring banquet!
This year’s banquet was held at Wokcano in downtown LA, and it was great seeing everyone together for the last time this semester. Amongst good food and friends, we celebrated the leadership of the outgoing Executive board, and welcomed in the new board who will be leading Kazan into an even brighter future come Fall.
Additionally, true to tradition, each member was also commemorated with an individual certificate, complete with a unique nickname based on their personality, achievements, or defining attributes.
Following dinner, we took a walk down the street to boba 7, which definitely didn’t disappoint! From the Rose milk tea to the Horchata boba, and even alcoholic boba too, it was definitely the best post-banquet refresher. True to form as well, Kazan loves karaoke, so the majority of the members then ventured over to a Karaoke joint to sing the rest of the night away.
As the outgoing seniors prepare for graduation, and as we push our way through the last weeks of finals, we can say without a doubt that this year has been the best so far for Kazan, and we look forward to an even brighter future, building upon the achievements that each class has done to make Kazan what it is today.
Spring concert might be over, but that doesn’t mean we’ve slacked off! At our second to last thursday practice, Kazan had the honor of learning from taiko master Brian Yamami, who worked us through the skills of the sukeroku form and style.
First, we played through sections of RDF (Rising Dragon Fist) and Yodan-uchi, and Bryan gave comments to improve our playing, such as leaning in, getting lower, engaging more with the drum. He also gave us a critique about the composition of RDF itself, such as which moves don’t quite fit in as well as others, and alternative methods of doing the “traveling” portions of Yodan-uchi (sukeroku). He also talked about the history of Sukeroku style itself.
Then, a few members performed solos for Matsuri, and he gave insightful comments on making more use of dynamics and buildup through the solo. Every taiko player/group has a different approach, but his comments were quite helpful and insightful in helping us improve our form and really understand the basis for the pieces we play.
Afterwards, some of Kazan went for an after practice dinner at Nakwon in K-town, one of our traditionally frequented spots. Following dinner, just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, we remembered that we had to get boba too while we were there! Overall, an evening of insightful lessons and good food- definitely one of the best ways to spend a thursday night!