History and Music Students Find New Knowledge with Nagata Shachu

HIS_Mus_drums On Friday, October 10th, the Toronto-based group Nagata Shachu will be performing at the UM-Flint Theatre. This group has toured worldwide, with performances in their native Canada, the United States, and Italy.

According to the UM-Flint History Department: “While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, this ensemble’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko. . .Their playing is the combination of unbounded spirit and passion with the highest levels of musicianship and discipline. The result is an unforgettable experience that is both powerful in expression and heartfelt in its sincerity. Featuring an arsenal of taiko, bamboo flutes, the three-stringed shamisen, and an array of gongs, cymbals, shakers, and wood blocks, Nagata Shachu will take you on a musical journey beyond all borders.”

The group is being brought to campus by the History Department as part of a series of events related to their Wyatt Exploration Program. Each year, the Wyatt program focuses on a specific cultural or historical theme or topic. A department expert will plan and organize the events for the year. “Featuring affiliated course offerings, special extra-curricular events on campus, and a competition to participate in a university-funded student travel expedition, the Wyatt Exploration Program will enrich and deepen our understanding of the world and its history.” The 2014-2015 Wyatt Program is “Japan: Its History and People.” Other campus activities this year include a lecture series and a film series. History students involved in the Wyatt Program will be on hand for the October 10th Nagata Shachu performance, helping to facilitate a smooth production.

Nagata Shachu will not just be providing an amazing musical experience for audience members, or deepened cultural understanding for the Wyatt participants. UM-Flint Music Department students will be attending a workshop with the performers on Friday afternoon, learning more about the instruments that will be played on stage. When asked about this unique opportunity for his students, Music Department chair Brian DiBlassio said, “Taiko drumming is a deeply artistic and cultural form of music. By participating in the workshop given by Nagata Shucha before the concert, select UM-Flint students will have the rare opportunity to experience a taste of this authentic tradition firsthand. The Department of Music is grateful to share in this event made possible by the Department of History.”

The Nagata Shachu performance is open to the public. Tickets are $5 and available through the History Department Office (260 French Hall) and at the time of the event. Doors to the UM-Flint Theatre open at 6:30pm, the performance starts at 7pm. For more information, contact the History Department at 810-762-3366, email LFaulkne@umflint.edu, or visit their website.