Happy New Year!

In most years, Soh Daiko members past and present would gather to celebrate the new year with a potluck feast and traditional mochitsuki, including pounding rice, shaping the mochi pieces, and singing our very own mochitsuki song. Unfortunately, we are still not able to hold this event due to COVID concerns. Instead, this year we invited former Soh Daiko members back to the dojo to share a day of reconnecting, sharing stories, and, of course, playing taiko! Everyone even got to take home mochi goody-bags, so we could have a taste of our previous tradition.

We were delighted to welcome back Soh Daiko members from its earliest days who helped shape our group and our repertoire. Together, we played some of our signature pieces, mixing current and former members in old and new positions in the piece, with former members jumping in for their iconic solos. We were even lucky enough to get some feedback from them on the current members’ performance!

Our trainees also got the opportunity to perform for our former members, receive advice, and learn more about Soh Daiko’s history and community. They even got to meet their Soh Daiko mentor’s mentor and experience their Soh Daiko “lineage”, shown in the photos below! With their review to become probationary members looming ahead, we hope this event was as inspiring and educational as it was fun.

A big thank you goes to all the former Soh Daiko members who joined us for such a special day. To all the former members who were not able to make it, we hope we will see you soon and be able to share a proper mochitsuki together!

To read more about how Soh Daiko does mochitsuki, check out our post from 2018.

Posted in News | Comments Off on Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from Soh Daiko! We’re taking a few weeks off to celebrate with family and friends, but we’re grateful to have spent this fall in the dojo getting into shape, honing our skills, and working with our trainees.

These past few months we’ve continued to adapt to the current environment with masks and safety protocols, allowing us to keep ourselves healthy and rehearse in-person as a group. As a result, we have made great progress developing our members’ and trainees’ skills.

To mark our holiday break, we celebrated with our annual Bonenkai dinner in which Soh Daiko members exchanged gifts over a delicious feast. It’s important for us to take this time to appreciate each other and have fun outside of playing taiko–and what better way than through a hot meal and fun gifts!

Soon we’ll be back to fine-tuning our repertoire and getting ready for our spring performance season—follow us on social media or keep an eye out here for show announcements in the months to come!

Soh Daiko members after our Bonenkai celebration.
Posted in News | Comments Off on Happy Holidays!

A New Class of Trainees!

And that’s a wrap on our annual recruitment kick-off!

This month we hosted our annual recruitment workshops with two full days of drumming, sweating, learning, and fun. We welcomed a range of participants into our dojo, from beginners to those with taiko experience, and introduced them to the fundamentals of playing the Soh Daiko way. We’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who came out to play and learn from us this year–we hope you enjoyed our time together as much as we did!

We are excited to share our new class of trainees for the 2022-2023 season: , Suzhen, Charlotte, Lisa, and HanBin! Our new trainee class comes from across the NYC and New Jersey area and brings a diverse set of experiences, from collegiate and community taiko groups to musical studies. Over the next few months, they will join our rehearsals and learn our technique and repertoire.

Our 2022 class of trainees at their first rehearsal.

We’re looking forward to a great season ahead as we hone our skills, polish our repertoire, and shape our trainees into a new generation of Soh Daiko performers!

Posted in Membership, News | Comments Off on A New Class of Trainees!

Welcome, Jodi and Nick!

With our 2021-2022 season coming to an end, we are happy to announce our two newest performing members, Jodi Scharf and Nick Mechak! Both Jodi and Nick joined our trainee program last fall and have practiced and performed with us throughout the year. You may have seen them playing the in our signature pieces “Matsuri” and “Yuudachi”, drumming samba rhythms in master drummer Kenny Endo’s piece “Symmetrical Soundscapes”, and more!

Jodi has played taiko for four years and was previously a member of Gendo Taiko at Brown University. Jodi recently completed her masters degree in public health and currently works as a researcher in population mental health here in NYC. When she’s not playing taiko, Jodi enjoys cycling, hiking, and playing piano and trombone.

Nick is new to taiko, but has previously played Western-style percussion at UMass Amherst where he earned his degree in Music Composition. Outside of Soh Daiko, Nick owns and operates Sour Humanoid, an artisanal vinegar company specializing in unique flavors. You can follow Sour Humanoid on social media (@sourhumanoid) and can find his products online or in the NYC area!

We are excited to see Jodi and Nick grow as performing members in the years to come. Please join us in offering them your congratulations and full support!

Posted in Membership, News | Comments Off on Welcome, Jodi and Nick!