I love the start of a New Year. It’s a kind of marker, a chance to take stock of the most recent trip around the sun and then to dream optimistically about the year to come and all the possibilities.
For me, 2020 holds some personal significance in that it will be my 10th year in DC. I don’t like to tout my own accomplishments but I will say THIS: I have a gift for surrounding myself with incredible people. Smart, multi-talented, engaged, interesting and interested people: beautiful souls on every level. When I want to reflect on the growth of The Mark H Rooney Taiko School, I can easily measure it in the amazing community that has formed and I am so fortunate to be surrounded by. From the students who come through my classes to the visiting taiko artists who share their experience. From the Members of Miyako Taiko (our brilliant community group) to the audiences who have returned our energy with so much enthusiasm. From the multiple artists (both taiko and otherwise) I have had the privilege of working with to the Taiko Community at large – I can’t stress enough how important everyone has been to this upward trajectory.
This year, there are many ways that we are reflecting on the last decade (well, 9 years…) of taiko at MHT and I am excited about ALL of them EQUALLY!
Sakura Taiko Fest (3/28)
Every year, this event gets bigger and involves more and more taiko players from further and further out. What started as a humble recital for my students and my trio, Kizuna, (with perennial guests Nen Daiko) has become a mainstay of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and a showcase for community and collegiate taiko groups from up and down the East Coast and beyond!
CONNECT 2020 (8/1 – 8/2)
The Return of CONNECT! We had such an amazing experience last time in 2018 with 70+ people congregating and playing taiko, sharing food and conversation, exchanging stories and wisdom, and there may have been a little kung-fu fighting… LET’S DO IT AGAIN! Registration opens on February 1st!
#randomactsoftaiko (??? but in the Fall…)
It is rumored (unconfirmed) that after 5 years, my self-produced, interactive concert experience will make a return as a way to celebrate Ten Years of Mark H Taiko in DC! (“TEN YEARS, MAN! TEN…!” Name that obscure quote…anyone?)
All this and so much more!
MORE Miyako Taiko! MORE Mark H Taiko Connection! MORE opportunities to interact with the regional, national and global Taiko Communities!
To kick off 2020 properly, I am extremely thrilled to launch a blog on our website: Taiko Voices. This blog is a way for the world to meet and get to know some of the many amazing people who make up the Mark H Taiko family – those who aren’t always in the spotlight but are so important to the fabric of this community. And who better to edit this blog than our very own Linda Lombardi! Linda is not only a talented professional writer but ALSO, Linda has been with Mark H Taiko from the VERY FIRST workshop I ever taught in DC. Linda is the very embodiment of what it means to be a member of the Mark H Taiko Team and I am TRULY grateful that she found me and my school 9 years ago (see what I mean about surrounding myself with the BEST people…?).
– Mark H Rooney