Sunday, March 1, 2015

Kumiko Oumae and Shuuichi Tsukamoto named new Leafa Co-Directors of Band



Kumiko Oumae, the new Co-Director of Band for Leafa College alongside Shuuichi Tsukamoto.

Kumiko Oumae and Shuuichi Tsukamoto named new Leafa Co-Directors of Band

By Eruna Ichinomiya
Spirit News
January 24, 2074

Kumiko Oumae was not the likeliest of successors to follow Dr. Rumiko "Ruth" Hatanaka. But Oumae, a member of the Leafa Class of 2073 alongside Shuuichi Tsukamoto and a skilled euphonium player, was named a Co-Director of the Band as Dr. Hatanaka has been named as the new Director of Bands, and in turn, the helm of the Marching Ultimates, at the main campus in Mitakihara, Canada. When asked of the news, Oumae was a mix of excited...and focused.

"When I first came to Australia with Shuuichi after marrying him and graduating from Kitauji High School in the Kansai, I didn't think I would meet a cousin of Ms. Taki," she said. "I told her at my first band camp who I was and Dr. Hatanaka said, 'Oh, you must know Ms. Taki, I'm her cousin. We incorporate a lot of fun but at the same time, our discipline and focus and professionalism has made us well known out here. I see something in you and Shuuichi that I don't see in any other first year.'

"Then Shuuichi told me, "What's our new adviser gonna do to us?' She then said as we headed to her office, 'Look at all the awards we've received for our performances domestically and in Germany. We're well-traveled, but we like to perform at athletic events. We do a lot of marching but we are the first marching band to incorporate guitars, a gong, and part of our orchestra.' And then she told me, 'I'm going to make both of you my personal assistants in arranging music and helping direct players and fostering accountability in our band.'

"I asked Dr. Hatanaka, 'is there some meaning behind this?' It was 2070 at the time. She told me, 'When the time comes, I'll tell you.' So December of 2073 came, and before we took the flight to California, Dr. Hatanaka pulled me and Shuuichi over and said, 'remember when I told you that I would explain why you are doing this role at my assistants?' I said, 'Yes, yes I do.' She said, 'You will be my successors and you will be the new Co-Directors of the Band. It will be a massive responsibility, but you treat your role on the Spirit Pep Band as a job. I think it's time your received your dues for make my job a whole lot easier. I have accepted a position as the Director of Bands at Mitakihara University.'

"I said, 'Our big sister, right?' She said, "Correct. I will be leading the Marching Ultimates starting next July.' I was in tears but I was so happy for her and Shuuichi. All our hard work paid off and now I get to be in charge and actually work a real job as part of the faculty. And we even get to begin a long path to becoming recipients of Master of Fine Arts degrees. Leafa College has been good to me and my husband. We're going to do the best we can and represent this college well and we plan to be citizens of Australia, too. I know enough English to speak it as if I've been here all my life. It's a great place for both of us."