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YOLA at HOLA was treated to a very special visit from seven members of the Fukushima TV Junior Orchestra (FTVJO). In preparation for the visit, the YOLA at HOLA students decorated the halls with origami and when the students arrived, they were greeted with a warm welcome in Japanese. The morning began with the performance of four pieces by the FTVJO, including a Japanese folk song. The two orchestras then had the opportunity to play together, a wonderful way to break the language barrier. The rest of the morning was spent with the older kids pairing up with YOLA students to form small tutorials. To prepare for the visit, the YOLA students spent the month of July studying Japanese culture and learning Japanese phrases. But language aside, the youth did a wonderful job of speaking to one another in their common language – music.

The members of the FTVJO were visiting Los Angeles while en route to boarding the Peace Boat. Peace Boat is a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment. Peace Boat carries out its main activities through a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages. The FTVJO students joined students from Venezuela for a two week voyage back to Japan. Masumi Matsumura, the International Coordinator for Peace Boat and long-time YOLA at HOLA volunteer Megumi Smith were responsible for coordinating the logistics of the students’ visit to HOLA. While in LA, the group was hosted by Yasuhisa Toyota and his wife. Mr. Toyota was the chief acoustician for Walt Disney Concert Hall.


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