<Performance Series Chapter 4> Expanding spring of music with members of JAO

“This Festival is held with a hope that people with common concerns will gather to talk and encourage each other to contribute more and more to their respective local cultures.”

Morishita valued the exchanges at the “Tokyo Performance” as a foothold to reach out to the whole country and established “The Federation of Japan Amateur Orchestras Corp.(JAO)” in the city of Toyohashi with 23 organizations.

Morishita wrote about the establishment of JAO as follows.

In other areas of cultural affairs, there are mostly national organizations and some even incorporated. What may be the reason that none of these exists for orchestra? One of the reasons is the unstable operation due to small number of groups; however, I cannot help thinking about the closed nature, self-righteousness, solitarily, and intransigentattitude of orchestra people. The establishment of the federation was all about a belief that someone had to play the role of a clown in order to make a progress in orchestra.

Offices of cultural organizations are mostly located in Tokyo. JAO is the only federation that is located in a local middle-sized city,Toyohashi.However, as the purpose of the organization aims to cultivate cultural activities in local areas, I believe it is natural to have the headquarter located in the regional city and I am proudly engaged in its management.

Sibelius: Finlandia
Motoyasu Morishita, Conductor
Festival Orchestra of JAO
1st Japan Amateur Orchestra Festival in Toyohashi
(September 2, 1973)

The performance is from the first National Amateur Orchestra Festival in Toyohashithat was held one year after the establishment of JAO.
Morishita conducted the “Festival Orchestra” consisting of members from all over Japan. The writer from the music magazine Ongaku no tomo reported the festival as follows.

People easily say, “Bring the hearts together,” however, it must be impossible to do so with people from different backgrounds, different instruments, and performing styles. It is not a perfunctory compliment to say thatMotoyasu Morishita, a Japanese language teacher from a junior high school, conducted the orchestra by bringing the players’ hearts together.It was amazing to see the brass section with heavy sounds, timpani that responds to the pressure of the orchestra, and the passionate and flaming strings all came together in Sibelius’s “Finlandia.”

Moreover, Morishita served as the center tounite many orchestras in the regional area. They have proved this unity by their performance. If the performance ended up in a fuss, the orchestra was nothing more than sheep without a shepherd. In fact, they brought the music together and it truly was a brilliant orchestra.

This was the moment when they infused new breath into the amateur orchestra activities in Japan.
This performance was at the crescendo of Motoyasu Morishita, who promoted simultaneously with huge undertaking such as the performance in Tokyo, establishment of JAO, holding the festival, and shifting to the violins.