Holy Innocents' students C.J. James
and Tiffany Tang
know how to attract an audience.
Two of the Upper School orchestra's most accomplished violinists recently played in front of about 1,350 people – the largest crowd for whom either has ever performed – in Japan.
C.J. and Tiffany, along with Upper School foreign language teacher Gerard Gatoux
and retired HIES teacher Carol Hahn
, visited our sister school, Asahigaoka High School
, in Sapporo earlier this month. They were invited to join in the celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary.
C.J. describes playing in front of so many people as “awesome,” adding that, “it was overwhelming at first, but once I got into the music, I just flowed with it.”
Tiffany, however, says she didn't feel overly anxious. “I felt it was my best performance for the public,” she says. “It was quite an honor to go over there and play.”
Mr. Gatoux felt touched and honored to be a part of our friends' celebration and presented the school with a lilac tree on behalf of HIES. “I think our bond is getting stronger and stronger because we were a part of their celebration,” he says. “Next year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary, so hopefully they will be a part of our celebration, too.”
C.J. says he learned quite a bit about Japan. “It was really eye-opening just to experience a different culture. Creating a connection between different cultures and people is important, especially with what's happening right now in the world.”
Tiffany is also grateful for the opportunity to experience Japan. “The Japanese community was very welcoming,” she says. “The trip definitely strengthened the relationship between Asahigaoka and Holy Innocents'.”
HIES’s next exchange trip to Japan is planned for July 2009. An informational meeting for students and parents will be held Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.
in room 202. Asahigaoka High School students are scheduled to visit HIES in January 2010. To view a video about last year's visit by the Japanese students, click HERE.
C.J., who says he was surprised by how much Japanese students know about the United States, wants to encourage his schoolmates to sign up for the next Japan trip. “This is such a great opportunity,” C.J. says. “I just feel so thankful I was able to take advantage of it.”