From Heidi Dallin-

Over 500 people attended the Cape Ann Symphony’s Koto Magic Concert on Sunday, March 27 at the Fuller Auditorium. Over $2200 in funds were raised for Japan relief and over 400 handmade paper cranes were given to audience members that donated to the International Red Cross for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. Cape Ann Symphony donated a percentage of ticket proceeds from the concert and raised additional funds through donations from the audience to aid Japan Relief efforts.

Cape Ann Symphony President Tom Class told the audience that it was "purely coincidental that we would be featuring the Koto at this time, but wonderfully appropriate under the circumstances and we will donate a percentage of the proceeds of our ticket sales to the International Red Cross for Japanese relief." He then invited the audience to donate as well, in return for which each person would receive a small origami crane, created by the Boston Origami Project, whose members handmade the colorful printed cranes in a variety of colors and prints including tie dye, flowers, polka dots and animal prints in the Fuller lobby all afternoon. According to Cape Ann Symphony principal oboist Akane Inoue who organized the collaboration with the Boston Origami Project, “We are so happy for the tremendous outpouring of support from the Cape Ann Symphony audience!”

President Class reported that Conductor Yoichi Udagawa’s family in Japan, together with the families of several other Japanese members of our orchestra including Akane Inoue, was safe. "We are grateful for that," he said. "But we should also be mindful of the great need and thankful that we can do our small part to help." "It is so gratifying to be a part of such a generous organization as the Cape Ann Symphony," declared Maestro Udagawa.

The Koto, an ancient Japanese stringed instrument, whose origins date back 1500 years was featured at the concert. This beautiful, harp-like instrument was played by soloist Yuki Yasuda in two original pieces with the orchestra commissioned by Cape Ann Symphony, East Wind, composed by Takashi Koto and Concertino No. 3 for Koto and Orchestra by Martin Schreiner. Both composers were in attendance and received standing ovations.

The program also included Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri and Dvorak’s Symphony No.8, which received a standing ovation at the close of the concert.

If you would like to donate to the Japan Relief effort by the Cape Ann Symphony, you may send your check, made out to the Red Cross and marked for Japan Relief, to Cape Ann Symphony, P.O. Box 1343, Gloucester, MA 01930

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