When a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan last spring, Midori Mukushi, sophomore business major and president of the Japanese Association Sakura Choir, and other Japanese students were sad, anxious and confused about disaster.
But the support and warm messages the local community gave them helped ease their anxiety.
“(Disaster) brings people together,” said Bob Edmiston, treasurer of the Emporia Presbyterian Church, “because disasters happen all over, some happen here, some happen there, and people like to help each other if they know you need help.”
The J.A. Sakura Choir will present a free concert at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Emporia Presbyterian Church to show their gratitude for the local community and how well they have recovered.
“Japan is now recovering well from the shock of the disaster with warm support from the international community,” Mukushi said. “I want to say thank you for the people who helped us. At that time, a lot of people, not only our friends but also people who don’t know us before, helped us a lot, like cheered us up and prayed for Japan. I’m really grateful for them.”
The concert, named “Four Seasons,” will present a variety of Japanese choral music that represents the four seasons in Japan through 18 pieces, including four solos from vocal music majors, featuring both traditional Japanese music and western music.
“The concert will be very interesting. I come every Tuesday and listen to them rehearse,” Edmiston said. “They have been rehearsing every Tuesday at the church and every Friday at Beach Music Hall, and they’ve been rehearsing at least twice a week for more than two months. They get better every time.”
J.A. Sakura was originally formed to perform at the International Food Festival last March.
“At that time, our goal was nothing more than entertaining the guests of the Food Festival,” said Masatoshi Takami, junior music major and the director of J.A Sakura, “and we had no plan after the performance until the big earthquake happened on March 11.”
But after the earthquake, they performed in many activities and raised more than $7,600 within two months.
“We invite all of you to our concert,” Takami said. “We would like to thank the Emporia community for tremendous support for Japan right after the earthquake.”
Tianhai Jiang/The Bulletin