Aberdeen, SD

By Shigeyo Henriquez

Week three of the tour is in Aberdeen, SD. This is my third visit to Aberdeen. First time was with Bamboo Orchestra 8 years ago and then the fall of 2009 with Beauty & Melody. I've worked with Stacy Braun, Aberdeen Area Arts Council, on all three visits. Familiar city and knowing the contact person made the work easier. The weather was good and everything went smoothly.

Stacy took Okada and myself to meet the bronze sculpture artist, Benjamin Victor, in his studio at the NSU. Benjamin explained to us the process of bronze casting. We were truly amazed by the fine detail works and imposing figures.

Aberdeen Area Arts Council offered a Japanese doll for a raffle prize at the concert. The proceeds will go toward Japan relief efforts. Everywhere we go people show their support. It's truly amazing and heartwarming.

Portrait of Okada drumming
Okada Hiroyuki, Taiko drummer

I see him as strong, humble, easy going and he likes to explore and try new things.

He loves to eat. First day in Aberdeen we stopped at a steak house. We had a delicious dinner and found that they offer a 48 oz steak, and if you can eat it cleanly, it's free. He had a 22 oz steak that night, but he wanted to try it another day.

We stopped by after the concert. Of course Okada was eager to challenge the 48 oz steak. The waitress said, "Wait, I better ask the chef." She came back and said "Sorry, it's not available tonight." Okada was so disappointed! So were we--we have only one week left. If he will have a chance to eat a 48 oz steak somewhere else, I wonder...

Drumming workshop in a school gym
Matt Osborne, a kindergarten teacher at May Overby Elementary, really enjoyed playing taiko.
Drummer bows to audience
Okada, taiko drummer bows after the demonstration to the students faculty at Presentation College.
Man taking a photo of a statue
Okada photographs Benjamin Victor's work, Fire Man, in the front of Aberdeen Fire Department.
Photo of a Japanese porcelain doll
Raffle prize at the concert

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