In the koto ensemble as an extracurricular, some of us have participated in a sub-unit called K8 to perform certain music pieces other than the ones from school. We participated in a koto competition held by publisher Shueisha at the Tokyo International Forum on January 2. Leading up to this event, the 8 of us met up during the break several times to practice and rehearse. This effort, and thanks to the initiative and leadership by the seniors in the group, resulted in us winning the competition in first place.
I believe my participation showed that challenges were undertaken, because we were up against professional koto players from Tokyo University of Arts and other incredibly talented people. Additionally, among the judges of the competition was the actual composer of the music piece we were playing, so we felt a huge pressure to meet up to his expectations and the way he wants to hear the song. Despite the pressure, I believe we were able to convey the hard work we’ve put in to both the judges and the audience, and we were able to enhance the beauty and essence of the musical piece. I developed new skills, because during the process of practicing a rehearsing, I really felt the challenges of synchronizing with the group whilst focusing on your own part, but by the last days of the rehearsals, I felt that I was able to do them simultaneously, whilst making the music sound whole as a group.