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A Powerful, Spectacular Performance that Only Students Can Deliver (OU Orchestra)

Practice Breeds a Sense of Unity

The base of activity for the OU Orchestra is the Student Service & Union building. When the evening comes, the orchestra members take instrument in hand and get down to practicing. The aim of this practice is to prepare for their semiannual concerts in the summer and winter of each year. Weekdays have members practicing their individuals parts, while the full orchestra practices together on Saturdays and Sundays. They play threes pieces of music with a professional conductor at their semiannual concerts.

The OU Orchestra changes performers and concertmasters for each piece of music. They have a good reason to play in 3 separate orchestras: this club is large enough to form three orchestras consisting of about 60 ~ 70 individuals a piece.

Orchestra leader ISSHIKI Sou told us: "The OU Orchestra is made up of current students at the university, so one of our strengths is being able to practice and accumulate experience every day. One of the appeals of our orchestra is 'unity.' The good thing about this is that the more you practice, the happier you are when you succeed."

Preparing for the Semiannual Concert

At the 105th Concert in July, the OU Orchestra invited KIM Seikyo, a big name conductor. A year prior, OU Orchestra Manager MATSUMOTO Yuki (3rd year, School of Foreign Studies) was tasked with negotiations for Mr. Kim to appear with the orchestra. "When I was in high school, I attended a concert that was conducted by KIM Seikyo, so I definitely wanted him to appear with us. Even though we're students, Mr. Kim doesn't take it easy on us. I've really been giving it my all during practice," said Mr. Matsumoto.

"Actually, 30~40% of the orchestra is made up of beginners. We even take in members who started playing musical instruments after they entered the university. We train all members to the point where they can perform in concert through lessons from musical coaches outside of the university and learning from more experienced club members. There is no decision on who will perform in the semiannual concerts; we do our best to make sure everyone can perform in at least one piece. It's not mandatory, but you'll never be rejected. This balance is really characteristic of the OU Orchestra," he told us.

TANAKA Nono, who will be appearing as the main concertmistress for the upcoming semiannual concert, added, "Changing concertmistresses for each song is rare, I think. It's also characteristic of Osaka University to have an environment which does not simply have the best musicians perform, but rather, one where beginners can be trained to perform as well."

Active Even Outside of OU

In addition to performances at ceremonies at Osaka University, the Osaka University Symphony Orchestra has expanded their activity outside of the university, throwing performances at commemorative performances at Osaka Northern Community College (ONCC) and even outside of the prefecture, to a performances in Yabu city, Hyogo. "My term as leader will end next February, but I'd like to create new places for us to perform and contribute to the further development of the Osaka University Orchestra," said Mr. Isshiki.

On January 31 of next year, the 106 Semiannual Concert is scheduled to take place at The Symphony Hall (Kita-ku, Osaka city), often called the hall of fame for classical concerts in Kansai. The members of the Osaka University Symphony Orchestra, while all unique, will head toward a common goal, improving each other along the way, and gaining confidence through each performance. These precious moments are something that they all share.

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