Since its foundation, Min-On has offered a diverse range of nonprofit public-service programs designed to cultivate music appreciation in Japan and around the world. Especially in contributing to the emotional development of schoolchildren, Min-On has provided admission-free concerts at primary and secondary schools throughout Japan to offer the younger generation opportunities to experience a rich diversity of live music by premier artists from around the world. Indeed, more than 1.2 million students in more than 3,800 schools across Japan have benefited from the Min-On School Concert program in the last 37 years.
On January 26, Min-On hosted a school concert at the Tokyo Soka Schools with the Vienna Operetta Orchestra, which was visiting Japan for the Min-On New Year’s Concerts. More than 2,000 elementary, junior high and high school students assembled at the main gymnasium on their campus and enjoyed the Viennese waltzes and operettas.
Cheerful performances of the orchestra accompanied by singers and dancers drew enthusiastic applause, as well as big smiles, from the students. In reply to the wonderful gift of the performances by the professional artists all the way from Vienna, Austria, representatives from the Soka School’s Koto (Japanese harp) Club, winners of a national Koto competition in the high school division, played an original Koto piece as a token of their gratitude. With the coming of spring, this became a splendid cultural exchange between the Japanese young musicians and the first-rate artists of Austria.