Wellington Sport invited Narukami Taiko to perform at the Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards on Wednesday 15thJune. We first drummed continuously outside the TSB Arena while guests were arriving, and then performed a piece on stage at the end of the night.
With three drums set up outside the TSB Arena, six of us took turns to jump in and out, keeping the beats of Jitou and Wachi Daiko playing, each for about 15 minutes straight. Both of these songs are usually played up on tall stands with the drum horizontally placed, so playing them down in Beta (upright) style was quite interesting, and it was fun experimenting with movement. As we played, guests arrived and walked past us into the Arena, which we were told was really enjoyed.
After the event begun, we headed inside to camp out backstage in our own dressing room! This is the first performance we’ve done with an allocated dressing room, so it’s fair to say that we all felt a bit fancy! It came complete with catering, and a nice man wearing a tux and radio headset keep popping in to see if we needed anything.
During the dinner break we set up our drums on a small side-stage, getting our first glimpse of the large audience. The TSB Arena had been transformed, with the stadium seating obscured by partitions, well decorated stages set up with a red carpet leading up to it, and the audience seated at fancy tables. Erin and Keisuke completed a drumroll at the end of the dinnerbreak, and then we were back in our dressing room waiting for our time to perform.
We were performing alongside the Wainuiomata High School Kapa haka group after the supreme Wellington Sportsperson of the Year award was announced. Following Ma’a Nonu’s acceptance speech the Kapa haka group kicked off with a piece of their own, concluding with sounding their pukaea trumpet to transition into our song. We played Katano, with Jessie and Annette playing and Claire on shime. The song went really smoothly, and then the Kapa haka group launched into a haka, with Jessie playing accompanying beats that resounded throughout the venue, making it a really powerful ending to a great performance experience.