ENSEMBLES 2012

Saitama Sakae Wind Orchestra

Saitama Sakae Wind Orchestra

 

Saitama Sakae Wind Orchestra is one of the most prestigious high school bands in Japan.Not to mention the domestic activities in Japan, the band has won many awards overseas since its establishment.  They have so far held concerts in many countries such as USA, Austria, Belgium, and Taiwan.

At the Midwest Clinic held in Chicago, in 2006, out of 400 applying music groups all over the world, they were successfully chosen to participate in its Final Concert.  This was a remarkable achievement for a Japanese high school band to perform in the Final Concert for the first time in Japan’s history.  They received an enthusiastic standing ovation that never stopped for more than 10 minutes.

They also became the first Japanese high school band that performed at the Carnegie Hall in New York, USA.  The audience, who loved their performance, gave them a warm standing ovation three times.

 

 

 

Akira Oku

Akira Oku

Artistic leader and conductor

In 1962 he was born in Kamakura-city, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. He started his career as an oboist at a brass band club in a junior high school. He kept his career throughout high school and university.

In 1985 he became a teacher at Saitama Sakae High School in Saitama Prefecture.

Along with Mr. Minoru Otaki, advisor and conductor of the Wind Orchestra Club, he was mainly in charge of its junior–band, consisting of students of the 1st and 2nd grade.

Since the first year he was with the band, it has won Gold or highest awards in all of the contests in which they participated up to the present. He conducted all the concerts overseas such as Vienna Youth Music Festival in 1985, a concert in Belgium in 1989, Taiwan Music Festival in 2009, and the U.S. Tour of 5 times from 2001 to 2008.

Of special note is that in 2008, he also led the concert held in the Carnegie Hall in New York City, U.S.A. He was commended in 2004 by the Mayor of Naperville, Illinois, and was appointed as an honorary citizen in the wake of his contribution to music, cultural exchange.

Currently, he is advisor and conductor of Saitama Sakae Wind Orchestra while making contributions for various music scenes as a board member of West Kanto Branch of All Japan Band Association, Saitama Prefecture of All Japan Band Association and East Japan School Band Convention.

 

 

 

Competition Program

 

J.Barnes Chance   Variations on a Korean Folk Song
Mashima Toshio   Les Trois Notes du Japon
1. La Danse des Grues
2. La Riviere Enneigree
3. La Fete du Feu

 

 

Additional Concerts Program

 

Kenneth Joseph Alford   The mad major
Yoshio Nakahashi   Blessed Promising Future Festal Overture for Symphonic Band
Ray Gilbert, etc   Desney Medley II
Oscar Hammerstein II   Sound of Music Medley
Shin Wada   March “Silver Lining in the Sky”
Peter Ilytch Tchaikovsky   Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Ottorino Respighi   Pini di Roma: Poema Sinfonico 1. pini della Via Appia
Hirotaka Izumi   O mens of Love
Johann Strauß I   Radetzky-Marsch
Alfred Reed   First Suite for Band