The Mandolin Orchestra of the Hiroshima Jogakuin University in Japan has more than 50 videos in its video channel at youtube. The videos present recordings made during the concerts of the previous years.
This mandolin orchestra is organized by the university for the students like many other mandolin orchestras in Japan.
Hiroshima Jogakuin was founded in 1886 as a small Christian school for women by Rev. T. Sunamoto, in cooperation with Rev. J. W. and W. R. Lambuth, sent by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, U.S.A. The school motto, “CUM DEO LABORAMUS (We work with God) ” was given by its first principal Miss Nannie B. Gaines, sent also by MECS, U.S.A., who devoted 45 years of her life to the early development of HJ.
Besides their studies, students are able to have an active campus life by participating in club and circle activities. Particular attention is paid to music, where the choir, folk song, mandolin, rock music, string orchestra, and koto groups provide a colorful variety of activities. There are also sports clubs such as kyudo (Japanese archery), volleyball, lacrosse, aikido (art of weaponless self-defense), and dance. Sports clubs are very active and have succeeded in maintaining a high ranking in intercollegiate games. Many students take part seriously in volunteer work, a special characteristic of this university.
The orchestra plays a regular concert every year. The programs include a mix of classical music and original compositions for mandolin orchestra. Sometimes also typical european mandolin music like Vita Mandolinistica by the Dutch composer J. B. Kok is played.
The regular concert No. 24 is planned for Aug. 7th, 2011.
I have selected some interesting videos from this large set. Very interesting ist an arrangement of Libertango by Astor Pizzolla:
Libertango – Astor Piazzolla
The most viewed video in the list is this performance of parts from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The mandolin orchestra has added many additional instruments for this performance to produce a big sound.
Carmina Burana – Carl Orff
There are many more interesting pieces to discover. You can find the information about all the programs on the homepage – the google translation makes this very usefull. The programs contain direct links to the youtube videos – however they do not work properly because of the translation.
One example of a great piece composed by a Japanese composer is the Wind Dance Suite Nr. 2 by Takashi Kubota – a piece in the typical symphonical style that is popular in Japan – with a lot of emotions:
Wind Dance Suite Nr. 2 Kubota Takashi
To end with another highlight – the famous Time to Say Goodbye in a great, bombastic version (maybe not for western listeners?):
Time to Say Goodby
youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/higaman739
Homepage / blog with information about the programs of the previous concerts (google translation to englisch):