[The 37th Toyota Youth Orchestra Camp] (organized by JAO)

A Report from Japan

The 37th Toyota Youth Orchestra Camp (TYOC) was successfully held from March 25th to 28th, 2021.

Due to the influence of the coronavirus pandemic, it was not possible for all members to gather in Kagawa prefecture and spend four days together. It was our very first attempt to hold the events including the opening and closing ceremonies online, as well as connecting satellite rehearsal venues all over Japan and having face-to-face and online lessons from music professionals.

Since this year’s TYOC was held in an unusual and completely new form, we had been preparing the event with the first thought of “What can we do to make TYOC where all participants are able to learn and realize something new?”

We had discussions among the steering committee members, and we wanted to make the 4 days where participants take the initiative to connect with other people actively and to grow by themselves; we decided the theme of the Kanagawa festival as “CHAIN.”

We have put our hope into the theme “CHAIN” that all participants connect with others like a chain at TYOC. In addition, each letters have special meanings which we wanted all participants to keep in mind while they participate the festival; “C” for “Challenge”, “H” for “Harmony” with the coronavirus and the music, “A” for “Advancement”, “I” for “Interaction”, and “N” for “New world.”

We were able to see the young participants actively communicating with other members whom they met for the first time, regardless of the fact that they were not able to meet in person, but online. There was also number of participants who were actually asking questions about the music and seeking advices for better ways to practice to the professional musicians. They were enthusiastic about improving themselves and expressed the theme “CHAIN” by themselves throughout the festival.

At the 37th TYOC, we performed the music piece “FLOWERS WILL BLOOM -Hana wa Saku” as a special event with two things in mind; something we can all feel the connectedness between the participants and to send our heart out to the 10th anniversary of Great East Japan Earthquake Tohoku earthquake, which happened in 2011. Participants at each satellite venue performed “FLOWERS WILL BLOOM” and we have put the movie into one video. We will post the video on the website as an accomplishment of the 37th TYOC and we hope you will check it out.

The situation was quite similar as last year, where we were not able to hold the 36th TYOC and we could be told that we are not able to hold the 37th TYOC this year. However, we kept asking ourselves “What is the best that we can do in such situation?” and there were many people who kindly supported us. We would like to express our gratitude to all those people who gave us warm support.

Through the 37th TYOC held under such circumstance, we have realized performing together is not actually an obvious thing, but rather special and is a blessing experience.

If all the participants of the 37th TYOC continue to remember the thoughts and realization that they felt at the festival until next year, we truly believe that the 38th TYOC will be a precious experience for all of us.

With the uncertain world that it is, we truly hope to celebrate the 38th TYOC next year with grown members next year.

The 37th TYOC Chair of Steering Committee
Chisato Kamimura