Odaiko New England

Bellows Falls Vermont

Spiking the Stage

Spiking the stage

On April 17, Odaiko New England’s (almost) full contingent – Ensemble and Community – trekked to Bellows Falls, VT to perform at the Opera House as part of the Stone Church Arts Series.

Kristen and Shigeru playing Senryū

Kristen and Shigeru playing Senryū

I have had great vacations in Vermont, but was unfamiliar with Bellows Falls.  So, prior to the show, I did a little research.  According to their website, the mission of the Stone Church Arts Series is stated as “bringing the world to Bellows Falls.”  Further research noted that the Opera House had recently been renovated.   Taken alongside the scenic pictures of the waterfall, covered bridges, and fall foliage, Bellows Falls seemed be a special place – commitment to arts in a beautiful setting.

Driving into Bellows Falls, the scenic part was easily confirmed with the waterfall and river.  The downtown had all the qualities of a small New England town with its five and dime store, galleries and small shops.  In one of the windows, I spied artwork from a local school.  All were easy confirmation of the importance of art in the community.

As we walked down the street to find lunch, we saw our posters in practically every storefront.   Clearly, there was a lot of community support for Stone Church Arts.

We had lunch in a great little coffee shop with homemade breads, desserts, and sandwiches.  In the back of the shop, there were a few tables, some cushy chairs, and more art on the walls.  Two people were playing backgammon, and a women was reading to her child.  There were some shelves with books.   I found one of my favorite cookbooks – The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Birnbaum – which was a likely source for the beautiful desserts.  Midway through lunch, a man walked in, took one look at us and said “You must be the taiko drummers – I just bought my tickets!”

Our audience that evening was fantastic.  It was a fun show to perform.  (I had my cleanest performance of Kashmir!)  After the show, I got a chance to chat with a few audience members.  They were very enthusiastic, asking many questions regarding our practice schedule and equipment, and thanking us for coming.  I thanked them for being such a lovely audience.

To Stone Arts Church Series, thank you for having us and introducing me to this special community.  I can’t wait to come back!

Putting our hands together before the show

Putting our hands together before the show

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