River Ridge Taiko

    River Ridge Taiko Project

    The River Ridge Taiko Project was started in late May of 2008. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a working taiko ensemble at River Ridge High School in Lacey, WA.

    We actually built our first Taiko drum a year before starting this project. Odaiko #1 was built in the Spring-Summer of 2007 to be used in performance by the school's Wind Ensemble for the piece, Rising Dragons, by Robert W. Smith. We performed the piece at the December concert in 2007 and then on tour to Southern California later that school year in early April.
    Having the "big drum" up in the classroom for 2/3 of a year had generated interest in it as well as sparked the idea that a taiko group would be really fun (so far, only one student had really been allowed play the big drum). By March 2008, the idea was floating around that we could form a taiko group...we just needed funding.
    In late March 2008, a grant request was submitted to the Charlotte Martin Foundation for a grand total of $6,840.43 to fund the creation of a taiko ensemble consisting of 19 drums (18 to be created from the grant funds). In the end, the foundation denied the grant in late May...no negative reason...just that they fund 1 in 4 grants and this one wasn't one of the lucky ones.
    So, we decided to try a different route and started the River Ridge Taiko Project in late May 2008 with a direct appeal campaign to local business, service clubs, organizations, and individuals in the greater Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater area of Thurston County. Within two days of starting the project (and before we really got going with it), we had funded two full drums and are excited about the potential of the project to
    reach its goals.
    Our vision for River Ridge Taiko is a 14-piece drum ensemble with various sizes and styles of drums. We aim to build the drums ourselves to save money and to give the students some ownership over the ensemble. This will also add a lot to the experience for those students who are here in the beginning.

    Our goal in performing is to eventually be able to perform student-composed works at various local community events and concerts. Given the nature of taiko drumming, we believe that this is a very reachable goal.

    The drums will be stored and maintained by River Ridge High School Band.
    Starting Immediately :
    • Collect donations and full drum sponsorships in order to begin building drums
    • Begin the process of building drums

    June 2008 - September 2008

    • Construct as many drums as possible, completing up to 14 new taiko drums to create the ensemble.

    September 2008 - late November 2008

    • Finish construction of any drums not completed during the summer.
    • Find performers, audition if necessary.
    • Work on the fundamentals of taiko playing.
    • Build a repertoire of pieces.
    • Start lining up gigs.

    late November 2008 - June 2009

    • Continue work on fundamentals and repertoire.
    • Continue to find and accept performing venues.
    • Perform
      • School Concerts
      • School Assemblies
      • Local festivals
      • ?
      • ?
    The September - June timeline above would be repeated on a yearly basis as part of the ensemble's ongoing work.
    Our Goal is to create a Taiko Ensemble that consists of the following drums:
    • Odaiko (3)
    • Hira Daiko (2)
    • Chu Daiko (3)
    • Okedo Daiko (3)
    • Shime Daiko (3)
    Membership in the group would be open to the general student population at River Ridge High School. If necessary, we would audition members for the group in the Fall. Priority placement within the group will go to those students who have shown that they can commit to a schedule of rehearsals and performances.
    Project Status:

    Drum Sticks Stand
    Shime #1 Completed Done Done
    Shime #2 Completed Done Done
    Shime #3 Completed Done Done
    Okedo #1 Completed Done Done (Strap)
    Okedo #2 Completed Done Done (Strap)
    Okedo #3 Completed Done Done (Strap)
    Chu #1 Completed Done Done
    Chu #2 Completed Done Done
    Chu #3 Completed Done Done
    Hira #1 Completed Done Done
    Hira #2 Completed Done Done
    Odaiko #1 Completed Done Done
    Odaiko #2 Completed Done Done
    Odaiko #3 Completed Done Done
Last Modified on October 12, 2010