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Looking for some fun this summer? Try one of these seven kid-friendly musical events in Kanagawa! (Part One)

It’s summer vacation. The sun’s shining, the sky is blue, and the sound of children’s laughter fills the streets. You could relax at the beach or the mountains, or you could enjoy a special musical experience in a cool, luxurious setting.
This summer through fall, many kid-friendly musical events are being held here in Kanagawa. This is a great opportunity for mothers—who just can’t seem to get a break from the daily bustle of raising their children and doing housework—to lose themselves in relaxing music, while their kids get exposure to real music.
This fall the 2016 Yokohama Music Festival finally arrives! Come and make some fun new memories with friends or family!


Article and illustrations: Wakako Ishida
Editorial supervision: Arts Commission Yokohama

 Saturday, August 6th: Kid’s Summer Vacation Organ Special



(C)Hiroshi Togo_PipeOrganA pipe organ center stage at the Small Hall. Photo:Hiroshi Togo


Kanagawa Kenmin Hall is holding an organ concert called the “Kid’s Summer Vacation Organ Special.” The pipe organ makes sound by blowing air through its pipes, allowing such an incredible diversity of timbres that it has been affectionately referred to as a “one-instrument orchestra.”
Kanagawa Kenmin Hall’s pipe organ has a history longer than those of any other of Japan’s public concert halls, installed way back in 1975! Having undergone subsequent maintenance and improvements, it charms visitors with its booming sound and rich timbre.



02_KeikoNakataOrganist Keiko Nakata will treat visitors to the rich sounds of the pipe organ.


The concert will be performed by Keiko Nakata, whose accomplishments include winning an international organ competition. With Ms. Nakata at the helm, visitors can revel in the resounding timbre and gracefully extending pipes of this charming instrument.

After the concert, a hands-on educational corner will be held. Visitors can learn the inner workings of the organ from models and displays, step up on stage and try playing the instrument (reserved for junior high school aged visitors and younger), and take part in other features that reveal the instrument’s allure.



03_CRW_7794-2Vibrations of the air create the pipe organ’s sound.


Pressing down on the organ’s keys sends air through the pipes, and you can feel that air’s vibrations creating sound. Playing on an actual organ is a rare and precious experience that’s sure to become a treasured summer memory!



A scene from last year’s educational corner. Participants even get to blow into pipes.A scene from last year’s educational corner. Participants even get to blow into pipes.


Location: Kanagawa Kenmin Hall’s Small Hall (an approximately 8-minute walk from Nihon-odori Station of the Minatormirai Line [take Exit 3], or an approximately 15-minute walk from Kannai Station of JR and the Yokohama Municipal Subway)
Address: 3-1 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Telephone number: Ticket Kanagawa [[[0570-015-415]]] (10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.)
Time: Performance begins Saturday, August 6th, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. (Hall opens at 1:30 p.m.)
  Ticket price: ¥800, reserved seating only (¥1,500 for adults)
For more information, please visit→http://www.kanagawa-kenminhall.com/detail?id=34378

*Please note that participants can only spend a short time playing the organ; they won’t be able to play an entire song. We ask for your kind understanding in this matter.



 Saturday, August 6th: Rooftop Garden Concert
 Wayang, shadow puppet theatre of Bali, Indonesia
 Tug of War with a Dragon Over the Ocean of Milk:
 The Churning of the Ocean of Milk



Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall (directly connected to Minatomirai Station) will again be holding its annual wayang shadow puppet play, a traditional performance passed down through the ages on Indonesia’s island of Bali.



wayangIntricately carved leather puppets take the stage in the traditional performance known as of wayang.


The puppeteer, called a dalang, moves the puppets to a unique musical accompaniment referred to as gamelan to tell a passage from the ancient epic Mahabharata. This puppet theatre is a hidden gem of Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, with some families coming back to see it every year. Of particular interest is the setting itself.



Every year children are captivated by the dalang’s (puppeteer) movements behind the stage!Every year children are captivated by the dalang’s (puppeteer) movements behind the stage!


The puppet theatre is performed in the rooftop garden at the top of the hall. At this large, open space, visitors are free to sit where they like and partake in food and drink while watching the play in the cool evening breeze.
Immerse yourself in the performance at the front of the stage, walk around to the back and watch the dalang control the puppets, get up from your chair and have a seat on the grass… in this relaxed theatre style, you can enjoy wayang however you like.



07_ワヤンThe dalang, with their vast knowledge base and familiarity with all types of stories, are said to be highly respected in Bali.


Here’s what last year’s audience had to say:
“It was really interesting! I want to come again.”
“It wasn’t formal at all—perfect for a summer performance.”
“I really felt like I was in Bali. I’m glad I got to see theatre of a different culture.”



08_IMG_1007While outdoors, the rooftop garden is flanked by walls on the right and left, improving the sound and minimizing distractions.


This year’s wayang performance will be “The Churning of the Ocean of Milk.” This suspenseful play tells a story of gods and demons and their fight over amrita, the holy water of immortality that lies deep in the ocean of milk. They pull back and forth on a giant dragon wrapped around a mountain, churning up the ocean in the process. In the end, just who will get ahold of this holy amrita??

Location: Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall’s Rooftop Garden (in the event of rain, location will change to the Small Hall)
(an approximately 3-minute walk from Minatomirai Station of the Minatomirai Line)
Address: 2-3-6 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi
Telephone Number: Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall Ticket Center 045-682-2000
Time: Performance begins Saturday, August 6th, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. (Hall opens at 6:00 p.m. and performance is scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m.)
Ticket price: ¥500 for 3-year-olds through elementary school students, ¥1,000 for junior and senior high school students, ¥2,000 for college students and adults, unreserved seating only *free admission for children under 3 years old

For more information, please visit→http://www.yaf.or.jp/mmh/recommend/2016/04/post-217.php



 Tuesday, August 9th:
 A Collaboration between Pikachu and the Fire Department Band



Yokahama’s annual “Pikachu Outbreak!” event will once again be held in the city’s Minato Mirai area.
Event dates: Sunday, August 7th to Sunday, August 14th
A total of 1,000 Pikachus—beloved by children and adults alike—will be appearing all over the city, putting on shows, parades, and all kinds of performances!



2015_C


And when you think kids in the summer, what comes to mind? That’s right, playing around in water!
The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse will host a “Super Soaking Splash Show” starting Tuesday, August 9th.



poke_KV_0708_copyright_low


This show features Pikachus performing alongside water cannons that blast out water. You can just picture the ear to ear smiles on the kids!

For more information, please visit→http://www.pokemon.co.jp/ex/splash_pikachu/

The Yokohama City Fire Department Band will also be performing on Tuesday, August 9th at 12:00 noon. Be sure to come out and see them, too!



The Yokohama City Fire Department Band


Location: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse’s Event Space
Address: 1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi
Performance time: August 9th, 2016 at 12:00 noon
Admission: Free



 Saturday, August 13th: Keiko Mitsuhashi’s “New Summer Vacation Orchestra!”
 Let’s Have Fun Together



The Kanagawa Kenritsu Ongakudo was Japan’s first public concert hall. Its acoustics were praised at the time of its opening as “the best … in the Orient,” and they are still commended to this day both in Japan and globally. It is at this authentic concert hall that an orchestral concert for kids will be held.



Children can listen to the orchestra up on stage, experiencing its musical allure up close. (Photo: Satoshi Aoyagi)Children can listen to the orchestra up on stage, experiencing its musical allure up close. (Photo: Satoshi Aoyagi)


This marks the sixth performance of this “Hands-On Concert for Kids” project. Among those performing will be conductor Keiko Mitsuhashi (nominated as one of the “100 most internationally respected Japanese” by Newsweek Japan in 2009), cellist Gen Yokosaka, and the wonderful members of the globally active Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra.



Conductor Keiko Mitsuhashi gives an entertaining discussion, explaining what to listen for in the music. (Photo: Shumpei Ohsugi)Conductor Keiko Mitsuhashi gives an entertaining discussion, explaining what to listen for in the music. (Photo: Shumpei Ohsugi)


Ms. Mitsuhashi gives an entertaining guide on what to listen for in the music, so even families who “aren’t that familiar with orchestras” can relax and have a good time.

This concert’s many features include listening to the music up on stage right next to the instruments, actually trying the instruments out, and interacting with the performers after their performance! The children’s eyes light up as all five senses take in the musical experience.



A child trying out an instrument at last year’s concert. Performers patiently teach the children, even if it’s their first time holding the instrument. (Photo: Shumpei Ohsugi)A child trying out an instrument at last year’s concert. Performers patiently teach the children, even if it’s their first time holding the instrument. (Photo: Shumpei Ohsugi)

A hands-on musical experience with instruments at last year’s concert. (Photo: Shumpei Ohsugi)A hands-on musical experience with instruments at last year’s concert. (Photo: Shumpei Ohsugi)


Your child need not already have an interest in classical music or instruments; we equally welcome families who have never been to an orchestral concert!

Location: Kanagawa Kenritsu Ongakudo (an approximately 10-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station of JR and the Yokohama Municipal Subway)
Address: 9-2 Momijigaoka, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Telephone number: Ticket Kanagawa 0570-015-415 (10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.)
Time: Performance begins Saturday, August 13th, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. (Hall opens at 2:30 p.m.)
Ticket price: ¥1,000 for elementary school students, ¥1,500 for junior and senior high school students, ¥3,500 for adults, reserved seating only

For more information, please visit→http://www.kanagawa-ongakudo.com/detail?id=34262



 Sunday, August 14th: Hamano JACK’s 2016 Summer Performance:
 “Russia,” a Family Chamber Music Concert



“Hamano JACK” is an NPO founded by NHK Symphony Orchestra violinist Haruhiko Mimata and his colleagues. The organization’s activities include putting on concerts for children and the disabled.



A 2013 Hamano JACK concertA 2013 Hamano JACK concert.


This year at the “2016 Summer Performance: “Russia,” a Family Chamber Music Concert,” visitors to Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall will be treated to a famous Russian song they’re sure to have heard before.
The first half of the concert will consist of solo performances for each instrument. Enjoy the simple timbre of the cello, violin, viola, and other instruments alongside beautiful melodies.
For the latter half of the concert, music from the famous ballet “The Nutcracker” will be performed alongside a reading by voice actress Kazuki Murayama.



17_sqs-1388A hands-on musical experience with instruments offered after the concert. Thanks to the careful instructions of the performers, many of the children are able to make legitimate sounds.


The Nutcracker is a fantastic story where a boy receives a nutcracker for Christmas which then comes to life at night and protects him from danger. It features fun music ranging from slightly comical to suspenseful, and is a charming tale that’s easily understood even by small children.
After the concert, visitors will be able to try out the instruments, so be sure to pick one up and give it a try!

Location: Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall’s Small Hall (an approximately 3-minute walk from Minatomirai Station of the Minatomirai Line)
Address: 2-3-6 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi
Telephone number: Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall Ticket Center 045-682-2000 (10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.)
Time: Performance begins Saturday, August 14th, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. (Hall opens at 1:30 p.m. and performance scheduled to end at 3:45 p.m.)
  Ticket price: ¥500 for 3-year-olds through college students, ¥2,000 for adults, unreserved seating only

For more information, please visit→http://www.yaf.or.jp/mmh/recommend/2016/08/-83jack2014.php


.

There are still more musical events in Kanagawa after August!
Click here for Part Two: Looking for some fun this summer? Try one of these seven kid-friendly musical events in Kanagawa! (Part Two)

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