New taiko ensemble course offered in the fall
The Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women was packed Wednesday with students, staff and faculty interested in trying their hand at taiko drumming during an open house. Iris Shiraishi, artistic director of Mu Daiko, offered a demonstration and invited attendees to try it out.
The open house was held to promote awareness of a new taiko ensemble course that will be offered by the Music Department next fall on Wednesday evenings, 7–9 p.m.
Allison Adrian first offered workshops on taiko drumming in her World Music and The Reflective Woman courses last fall. Student interest from these successful workshops led to the creation of the ensemble course.
"With its integration of Asian-American identity and female empowerment in the U.S., I also saw an institutional fit with taiko," says Adrian.
Taught by Shiraishi, the course will focus on kumi daiko (group drumming) as an empowering artistic expression for both performer and listener. All students, regardless of musical experience, are invited to learn about taiko's Japanese roots, basic techniques and performance practices. The 1-credit course will count toward students' fine arts credit.
"It was exhilarating and very freeing — I really enjoyed it," says Mueller, who hopes to take the class in the fall.