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Okiden Sugarhall Competition Now Open to Foreigners

By: Kotoko Chinen

Date Posted: 1999-10-30

With the aim of finding new musicians, the Sugarhall will present the 6th Okiden Sugarhall Competition and Debut Concert. Applications for the competition are presently being accepted from everyone interested, including foreigners of any origin.

Auditions for the Okiden Sugarhall Competition and Debut Concert began 6 years ago, with the aim of finding young musicians and nurturing their unveiled musical talent. Since the last competition, applicants have multiplied widely. The audition opens for all amateur musicians of any nationality and from anywhere in the world.

"We think the level of the young musicians in Okinawa is high enough to compete internationally. So, we decided to get rid of nationality limits for the competition" Tooru Nakamura, the Art Supervisor of the Sugarhall, explained at a press conference last week.

Although the number of the applicants from outside of the country wasn't large, the competition surely caught the attentions of some musicians in the foreign countries. There were some applicants from America and Taiwan for the first international (5th) annual audition. Madoka Kouno, a student of the University of Southern California, won the Grand Prize at the last competition.

Participation selections for the 6th audition are vocal music, piano, stringed instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. Eligible applicants for the vocal music competition are those born between April 2nd, 1970 and April 1st, 1980. For the piano and stringed instruments, those who were born from April 2nd, 1974 to April 1st, 1982, will be eligible. For the wind and percussion instruments, those who were born between April 2nd, 1972 and April 1st, 1980, will be allowed to compete.

The contestants are free to play any work of their choice. However, there is a time limit for the duration of the performance. Time limits for each selection is as follows: Vocal music-no longer than 10 minutes, Piano-no longer than 20 minutes, Stringed Instruments- no longer than 15 minutes, and Wind, Percussion Instruments-no longer than 15 minutes. Application fee is 10000 yen. The contestants must pay all the traveling and hotel expenses by themselves.

Applications will be accepted until January 20th, 2000. All those who wish to enter the audition are required to submit an MD or tape that contains their personal performance, and other documents. All the winning contestants will be required to perform at the debut concert, which will be held on April 30th, 2000.

To the winners of the competition, a large scholarship will be awarded and the right to perform the recital will be granted to the Grand Prize winner. The Okinawa Times will introduce the winning contestants in its newspaper. “We hope the competition and concert will provide young musicians with a chance to make progress domestically and internationally," Nakamura stated.

For more details, contact Sugarhall at 947-1100 (ask for Atsuko Ikehara). Also visit the web site at www.rik.ne.jp/sugarhall

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