The 83rd regular concert of Torakyo

Program of the concert
Toranomon Symphony Orchestra (Torakyo) gave its 83rd regular concert on May 21st at Ota Civic Hall "Aprico". This time our program consisted of three numbers: Overture of "Il barbiere di Siviglia" by Rossini, Masquerade suite by Khachaturian and Symphony No. 7 by Dvorak .

When rehearsal started in January, we realized that we had misjudged the technical difficulty of Dvorak's Seventh Symphony. In addition, some rehearsals dropped due to official programs of the school where we have our rehearsal studio. Unfortunately our conductor was too busy to regularly attend our rehearsal and cancelled our regular rehearsal camp. Therefore, when the concert approached in one month, we got slightly irritated. However, thanks to extra works by certain critical parts such as cello, the performance at the concert was more or less satisfactory.

The name of Torakyo comes from the place name "Toranomon" where our two preceding ensembles and initial rehearsal studio existed. There used to exist a hall in Toranomon where Torakyo usually held its regular concerts. But, because of city redevelopment Toranomon Hall was demolished without substitute and it became very difficult for us to find appropriate halls for regular concerts.

Ota Civic Hall "Aprico"

Ota Civic Hall "Aprico" is a public hall with 1477 seats owned and operated by Ota Ward for the inhabitants of the Ward, the south most ward of Tokyo. If you go one more station in JR train, you are already in Kanagawa prefecture. But, this hall has recently become our usual concert site. In reality the facilities are good for our purposes and its rental fee is reasonable. In addition, many local people, in particular old pensioners come to our concert, maybe because they do not have many occasions to hear classical music compare with the central area of Tokyo.

Giving the last instructions

Second violin, viola and contra bass are checking their music in the last moment.

The stage is ready for concert
We met at 4:30 and male members immediately started with setting up the stage while female members were busy with putting flyers of other groups’ concerts between our program pages. The final rehearsal started at 5:30 and lasted an hour. The conductor tried to relax the members, but at the same time frankly commented on some defects and requested corrections. One hour passed quickly and first guests already entered the hall.

We quickly changed cloths, white shirt and black jacket, trousers and shoes, but we were requested to wear colorful ties; otherwise we would look like attendants at funeral. Some members quickly took some foods and drinks and we all gathered in the backstage for tuning at 7:00. The final bell tolled at 7:10 and we entered the stage.

Three program numbers were performed punctually according to the schedule and followed by usual applause and responding greetings from the stage. As an encore Drovak's Slavic Dance No.8 was played. Again applause and greetings. We finished our concert at 8:50.

Then, we quickly put our instruments back into cases, changed cloths and put chairs, music stands and wooden platforms from the stage back into the warehouse. Many members received presents such as sweets, flowers and cards from their friends who visited the concert. In the lobby we chat with them and gradually left Ota Civic Hall to attend the after-performance party in an izakaya near the JR station.

This time we had only four extra players; three percussionists and one bassist. The bassist is the wife of our solo trumpet player and therefore a quasi member. Pure extras are those for percussion and it inevitable to use extras for percussion, because we usually do not need more than the existing two percussionists. This means, we perform solely with some 80 pure members of the orchestra. As for strings we had 15 member players for first violin, 13 for second violin, 10 for viola, 12 for cello and 5 for contra bass. When I look back the time when I joined Torakyo, we had only some 40 members. Torakyo has really grown up to be a full size orchestra and to play difficult works. Therefore, I find it a pity that we have only one performance, though we have made much effort in rehearsals. I want at least two performances with the same program if possible. But, many members say one performance is enough. They get so tired!
The hall is open and first guests are entering. This was the last picture I took. Thereafter, I had to play on the stage and no chance for taking pictures.