Comments on the AP and Upper El progress reports mostly centered around the work on Taiko Drumming at the beginning of the year:
“Work in Music for the Adolescent Program, first term, consisted of two intensive studies. The first was addressing a performance challenge on taiko drums. While this involved learning complex rhythmical forms, and stretching our endurance of hard work, its deepest challenge was learning the nature of respect. Because the drumming was so demanding and the success of the work depends on mutual support, it was easy to quickly experience five kinds of respect defined in our taiko tradition: respect for the self, respect for the instrument, respect for the fellow performers, respect for the school, and respect for the teacher. In each of these lines it becomes easy to see the relationship of respect to striving towards a higher potential. After repeated preparations and rehearsing it also becomes clear that little is possible without these five respects. In mid-November we presented our work with guest Sensei, Mark H. Rooney, along with the work of Upper El, to the school. These remarkable performances demonstrated that we were truly able to work together as one. The power and intricacy of the performances stunned and thrilled all who were there. Videos of these performances appear on the “Thacher Staff” You Tube channel….”
Here are the videos from that performance. While one can see the obvious attainments of our work, you would have to play them insanely loud with several subwoofers to comprehend how thunderously loud the experience was.