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TCNJ Music Students Take Part in Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival

TCNJ Music Students Take Part in Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival
cherry blossom fest
L–R: Tomoko Kanamaru, assistant professor of music; Lisa Ball; Mary Starkey; Aimee Fiorini; Anna Sayanagi

On Saturday, April 5, four TCNJ music students took part in Sakura Sunday/2009 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. The event was held at Fairmount Park and was hosted by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.

An estimated 35,000–40,000 people gathered throughout the festival to celebrate the return of spring. The day was filled with a full of activities/events including Japanese drum ensemble performances, Japanese traditional dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and origami and calligraphy displays.

During the event, the four TCNJ students presented “14-Hiki no Asagohan” (“The 14 Mice’s Breakfast”). The students, Anna Sayanagi ’09, Mary Starkey ’10, Lisa Ball ’10, and Aimee Fiorini ’11, performed as a Japanese narrator/MC, English MC, and two four-hand pianists, respectively. Both of the sessions attracted a large crowd of children and their parents.

Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. According to the event’s Web site, cherry blossoms have deep significance in Japanese culture and are a traditional motif in art, literature, and cuisine. The ephemeral blossoms only last for about two weeks before fluttering to the ground, recalling the vibrancy and impermanence of life. The cherry is a symbolic national flower in Japan and is sometimes offered to other nations as a symbol of friendship.

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