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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Living & Learning: Japanese students overseas / Music gives a place to belong, opportunities to grow | The Japan News - LearningLab

This column features reports by Japanese students currently studying overseas on their lives on and off campus.

"Being fascinated by the freedom of America, where all kinds of opportunities wait on ambition, I chose music, a field I have never exactly belonged to before" inform Yutaro Bannai, State University of New York at Geneseo.
Photo: The Japan News

I found a poster for auditions for the Geneseo Chamber Singers. No, I had not previously cared for instruments, ensembles and orchestras. I also believed that music requires much knowledge and training from one’s childhood. So, it seemed totally impossible to begin to sing from college — but it turned out I was absolutely wrong. The poster said all interested students, even those who have no experience, are welcome regardless of their major and level. So, I decided to use this opportunity. Indeed, about half the students were novices. 

The next day, I entered a waiting room for the audition and was astonished to see about 50 students there. The director, Dr. Gerard Floriano, asked me to sing the national anthem of America as a requirement! I was so bewildered that I could barely sing neither the lyrics nor the melody, so I thought my audition was over. But how gentle and benevolent he was! He understood I am an international student from Japan and allowed me to sing any songs I could, even Japanese songs. Two days later, I was so excited and pleased: I had passed the audition! Today, even if I am the only international student in the chamber choir and struggle to speak English well, I am one piece in the creation of a beautiful harmony, and not only for English songs, but in German, French, and Italian, too.

Source: The Japan News