Organ Concerts this semester – 春学期(前期)オルガンコンサートシリーズ@立教大学

(日本語はチラシの下にあります)Rikkyo University sponsors six or more organ recitals annually.  The series for this semester begins on Saturday, when Kei Koito will perform on the Tickell organ at the university’s Ikebukuro campus chapel.  Ms. Koito is a veteran international performer with a large catalogue of recordings.  You can see her website here.  This Saturday (April 18) she will perform early English repertoire, as well as her speciality, the works of J. S. Bach.  The concert begins at 2:00 and is free and open to all.  Here is the series poster (sorry, Japanese only).

The other concerts this semester:

May 20, 12:30 pm, Ikebukuro campus chapel: Scott Shaw (yours truly, performing an all-English program)

July 9, 12:30 pm, Ikebukuro campus chapel: Duo Syvati (organ and cello), from England

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Posted in Organ ~ オルガン関係, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

Happy Easter! 〜 ハッピー イースター!

Happy Easter from Tokyo! We were not blessed with good weather this year, but are still enjoying the day – both the sacred and secular aspects of it.



It is time to relax (briefly – university entrance ceremonies continue tomorrow), and enjoy a delicious Easter dinner. This morning’s Easter high mass went splendidly, thanks to the chapel clergy, acolytes and musicians who participated (in particular, our great university organist, Sakiyama Yuko, the chapel choir, and the chapel handbell choir). Well done, all!

Below are some photos from the chapel today.

Sweet Easter dreams, faithful readers! お休みなさい、読者の皆様!



Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

Rikkyo Chapel Choir PR Video – 立教大学聖歌隊PRビデオ

It is recruiting season for clubs at Rikkyo University.  Students are scouring the campus looking for new members, and, of course, the chapel choir is no exception.  If you are interested in singing with us, have a look at this student-produced PR video.  Members of the choir are on duty until next Wednesday, so look us up.  Alternately, I can be contacted through this blog.



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Chasing Cherry (blossoms) on a Brompton – ブロンプトン(折りたたみ自転車)で花見をする

2015-03-31 ride-hanami (359 of 103)-13Here in Tokyo it is the peak of the cherry blossom season.  Going out to see the blossoms is serious business, practiced by just about everyone who lives in Japan.

Yesterday I spent the day, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, “chasing the cherries” on my bike (the Brompton of today’s post title).  The 70 km ride took me through parks thronged with groups enjoying picnics, down the Arakawa cycling path to Tokyo Bay, and then home via the subway with my bike folded.



Things you need to know about the hanami (花見、or literally “flower looking”) tradition: (花見のプチ知識)

1. Everyone does it.  I encountered groups of pre-schoolers, grade-schoolers, older students, families, joggers, elderly people, disabled people in wheel chairs, and pets of all kinds.

2.  Necessary tools: a camera (any kind will do), some food (normally a bento), a tarp to sit on, and beer or sake (optional).  My equipment for the day: 2 cameras (Sony RX100 and Fujifilm XE-1 with 2 prime lenses) and a bike, and money for food.

3. Where it is done: literally anywhere there is a cherry blossom and a bit of space to spread out.  Here we have the scene at Hikarigaoka Park yesterday below.  This was one of five major metropolitan parks I visited during my ride.

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Toddlers get out to see the flowers.

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I enjoy the cherry blossoms, of course.  But after years of photographing them it becomes difficult to capture them in a unique or new way, which is why I keep my eyes open for other forms of spring beauty.  A brief photo blog of yesterday’s satisfying cherry blossom ride:

1. In my neighborhood: blossoms cascading down to the Shakujii River.

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2. Along the Arakawa cycling road.

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3. At Kasai Rinkai Park, on Tokyo Bay.

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4. At my last stop – near the Gate Bridge on Tokyo Bay.

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It was a fine way to finish up my short spring break.  Tomorrow, work begins in ernest, so all-day hanami rides will be a fond, but fading memory.  For those interested, here is a map of my route.


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Choir records for a CD – CD録音プロジェクトに参加する聖歌隊

Auntitled (353 of 54)-1 jolly good morning to everyone out there.  It is 10:30 am, and I’ve finally got my bones moving about the house.  The combination of a long day on campus yesterday coupled with a bad cold gave me sleeping rights this morning.  Normally a morning person, today I rather enjoyed lazing about, watering the garden, discussing the weather with my cat, etc.  Here is a photo of an tenacious flower that comes up in my garden every year, however much we ignore it.


RECORDING PROJECT 聖歌隊が録音プロジェクトに関わります

The Rikkyo chapel choir was invited to participate in the continuing project to record all the hymns in the fairly new Kyokai Fukuin Sanbikashu (hymnal) .  We were asked to record four Advent/Christmas hymns for volume 3.  (The choir also contributed to the previous volume 2: click here to read about that session, page bottom).  Yesterday setup began at 11 am, and the chapel was finally ready to be locked up at 8 pm. Whew!  The choir sang from 2 pm to 7 pm with breaks.  5 hours is a long time to try and concentrate, but the students did very well.  I really enjoyed rehearsing them for this project, and seeing how well the younger members of the group now blend in with the seniors.  Here are some photos from the day.

録音プロジェクト@立教大学の池袋チャペル。立教大学チャペル聖歌隊は最近出版された「教会福音讃美歌集」に含まれている4曲の録音依頼を引き受け、昨日(3月27日)収録しました。(興味のある方:このプロジェクトのCD vol. 2はこのリンク先にあります)。録音は午後2時から7時までかかりました。写真の通り、チャペルは12本のマイクと様々の機材によって、一時的に本格的なレコーディングスタジオになりました。聖歌隊の1〜2年生参加しました(写真)。

1. A short break – some of the men are still overflowing with energy 短い休憩時間。男性はまだ元気そうです。

untitled (326 of 54)-12. recording 録音の風景

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4.  Finished!  Some members are still smiling – ah youth! 終了しました!笑顔のメンバーもいます!

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The CD will be released in the summer or early fall, and should be available in all Christian bookstore in Japan.


What do I do with the rest of my free day?  I think my Brompton needs some exercise, so cycling is probably on the menu.




Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | 2 Comments