Hiroshima State Band Festival – Procedure and Purpose
The Hiroshima State division of the All Japan Band Assn. is hosting a special festival in place of the cancelled annual band contest. 53 Jr. High and High School bands will appear this weekend to initiate the event, performing for comments under strict environmental controls. Live streaming links are listed below. Please remember that Japan time is 13-16 hours AHEAD of the US, so Saturday 9:30 am is Friday 8:30 pm EST.
See LIVE Schedule Below
Japanese schools cautiously reopened in June, and band clubs have been meeting since then, under safety measures. Japan has fared “well” with COVID-19, ranking near the bottom of international infection rates. Japanese are prolific mask wearers and sanitizers, and the country utilizes advanced air filtration systems for public gathering spaces like schools and theatres.
Yusuke Konishi, executive director of Hiroshima State Band Association and director of Hijiyama Girls Jr. & Sr. HS Band, organized this festival in lieu of the regular first tier of the All Japan Band Contest. All band clubs are voluntary (non-credit) and participants do so through choice.
Details and Guidelines – Event at HBG (Hiroshima Bunka Gakuen) Concert Hall
Each performance day consists of 4 performance blocks of 6-7 bands each.
Each block has approximately 240 students.
The Ground floor of the concert hall has 1144 seats.
Each block will rotate from audience seating to stage; bands from other blocks may not enter hall until their assigned time. The association gives specifics where, when and how to enter and exit, so bands and audience don’t mix. Of course masks are mandatory for all.
All instruments are carried into the concert hall without cases. No rehearsal room or green room is provided.
Directors must monitor the health status of each band member and keep temperature charts for each member for two weeks prior to the event to submit upon check-in. Charts are submitted with gloves and sanitizer at check-in.
Band members are initially seated five seats apart in the hall (240 band members in 1000 seats on the ground floor).
Chairs and stands on the stage are essentially fixed at 1 meter of separation.
Only stage managers and staff are allowed to move them.
Bands also use the same percussion equipment. (For regular contest, they bring their own percussion)
After each block, staff sanitizes the entire hall including audience seats, stage and other areas. They have 40 minutes between blocks. (Helpers are also assigned to open and close doors so random people don’t touch handles)
Audience is only allowed on the second floor, which has 857 seats.
400 tickets are sold (1-2 members in each family of 240 students) in each block and they must sit in every other seat.
The Festival is live-streamed so those without tickets may still watch the concert.
The repertoire is unrestricted. Some bands do pops, others classical arrangements, serious contest pieces and even new flexible scores.
The festival is being video recorded by Brain Co. Ltd. (Bravo Music Inc. in US), and the live streaming is by one fixed camera only. Possibly a finished DVD product will available for export, unknown at this time.
We will continue posting about this three-chapter presentation at https://www.facebook.com/Brain
Please remember that Japan time is 13-16 hours AHEAD of the US, so Saturday 9:30 am is Friday 10:30 pm EST.
9:30 AM Japan time