Taiko Beats!


Rachel Ruggera, Staff Editor

Last Friday, September 21st, La Jolla Country Day’s student taiko drumming group performed with the La Jolla community’s professional ensemble La Jolla Taiko. You may have heard the loud, resonating drum beats coming from the music room over the past few weeks in preparation for that night’s performance. Whether it was after school or during percussion class, students were hard at work to make this year’s Taiko Beats concert the best yet.

Taiko Beats was led by and performed with LJCDS’s very own band and percussion teacher, Chad Przymus, who wrote or arranged over half of the songs. While this is the third year La Jolla Taiko has played at Country Day’s theater, the group has been performing in the San Diego community since 2015. A few of their shows include playing for the Obon Festival and the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park as well as for the Lunar New Year at Sea World.

You may have heard of other historical Japanese high-art forms such as Kabuki theater and tea ceremonies, but taiko drumming is more of a community-based activity that has recently gained more popularity outside of Japan. Historically, taiko has been used to send signals warning villagers of an incoming storm, an attack, or to call a meeting. The different drum beats were used for communication along with being incorporated into certain prayers for rain or for an abundant harvest. Today, contemporary taiko groups perform in ensembles, annual festivals, and competitions throughout Japan and the world. Taiko has become a combination of drumming, dance, and martial arts holding with traditional Japanese culture.