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Learning to Compose Together

High school band students get a hands-on experience in seeing their ideas come to life

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Performance this Sunday (12/17)! A sneak preview of the 3rd movement

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Takuma Itoh
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I had a chance to catch a couple of rehearsals before the concert on Sunday 12/17/18. The band is sounding incredible led by their fearless leader Mr. Michael Bataluna. So many talented musicians in the ensemble, many of whom contributed melodies to this 3 movement composition!  

I’ve uploaded a recording as a sneak peak into what it sounds like (recorded on my iPhone in the rehearsal room so please excuse the low sound quality). 

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Preview of the composition (Less than a month to the concert)

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Takuma Itoh
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Rehearsals are well underway, and the performance is in less than a month. Here’s a MIDI playback preview of the three-movement work on YouTube. The melodies that the students composed are presented here on the video. 

Overview

I want young musicians of Honolulu to be exposed to what it means to create music, and see for themselves what it takes to compose a new work. I will be going to a band program of a single local high school (Kaiser HS, under the direction of Michael Bataluna) throughout the school year, where I will oversee the students composing short fragments of music in the beginning, then showing how those ideas can be put together to form a bigger work. They will get to see the composition come to life from the beginning stages to the final orchestration, and will have multiple opportunities to shape the final product in different ways. The final work will be performed in front of their peers and parents in their final winter concert in 2017, then will be performed again on their spring tour to Nagaoka, Japan on March 25, 2018.  

Project Media

Daydreams
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Features: Takuma Itoh

This is my one and only previous wind ensemble work that I have written. It has received the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Award in 2012. It was written for the Cornell University Wind Ensemble and Cynthia Johnston Turner in 2010. It uses antiphonal techniques towards the end of the work to create a surround-sound effect and engulfs the listeners in a waft of sound coming from all around. This last antiphonal portion can be heard from 4:00 of the audio excerpt.

Ripple Effect
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Features: Takuma Itoh

This piece explores how the simple opening can be transformed through orchestration. It is a good piece to show how orchestration can enrich a simple line. This is a recent orchestral work of mine that has been performed by Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and at the Wellesley Composers Conference.

Start and End Dates

08/15/201612/19/2017

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

2 updates
Last update on December 13, 2017

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