PIQUA — A Japanese drumming cadre made up of 24 junior high and high school students from Mississinawa Valley will perform in downtown Piqua at this year’s Taste of the Arts on May 11.
Combining choreography and drumming with cultural costuming (masks, kimonos, and props), the Kuroi Taka Taiko drumming group has achieved great success throughout Ohio and Indiana, performing at the Ohio State House, Langfest at Ohio State University, the second Summit of Educators, the Ohio School Board Association Convention, International Baccalaureate schools in Indianapolis, and many local and school events.
This unique drumming program was introduced at Mississinawa Valley in 2007, and currently has 63 students in four performance groups, ranging from fifth grade through high school. It is one of only two such groups in the state. “The students have their own class each day when they practice and compose music,” said Audrey Hathaway, director.
The group plays handmade drums of three sizes: the very large Okedo daido drums, the medium-sized nagada drums and the smaller shime daiko drums. Gongs, shakers, cymbals and other small trap instruments are also used in their performances. There will also be opportunities for audience participation. Two performances will be given during Taste of the Arts, tentatively at 6:15 and p.m.
In addition, the Kids Zone will also provide an abundance of activities for children to enjoy. thanks to the coordinating supervision of the Girl Scouts, Piqua Public Library, Young Life, Miami County YMCA and Piqua Catholic.
For more information about Taste of the Arts, contact Lorna Swisher, Mainstreet Piqua executive director, at 773-9355 or visit piquatasteofthearts.com.