Tai Hei Shakuhachi
Scholarship Award

Marty Regan

The main Tai Hei Shakuhachi Scholarship of $1,000 has been awarded to Marty Regan. Marty was born in New York and graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 with a B.M. in Composition and a B.A. in English and East Asian studies. He also attended summer music programs at the American Conservatory in Fontainbleau, France in 1992, the Aspen School of Music in 1993, and the Akiyoshidai Festival and Seminar of Contemporary Music held in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan in 1996 and 1997.

His compositional output includes a wide range of compositions for numerous chamber ensembles, choir, orchestra, film, and dance. Since 1993, he has been interested in integrating Japanese aesthetic sensibilities into his work, and he is active as a composer of gendai-hougaku (contemporary music for traditional Japanese instruments) in Japan.

From 2000-2002 he studied composition with Minoru Miki and shakuhachi with Katsuya Yokoyama and Kaoru Kakizakai as a Japanese Ministry of Education research student at Tokyo College of Music. His composition for six Japanese instruments, Three Japanese Soundscapes, was premiered at the National Theater of Japan in June 2001 as part of the 4th Annual Composition Competition for Traditional Japanese Instruments. He was the first American composer to be selected for this competition. In June 2002, his composition Shinonome no Uta ('Song-Poem of the Eastern Clouds') was selected for the 5th Annual Composition Competition for Traditional Japanese Instruments at the National Theater of Japan and won 2nd prize. Several of his compositions for Japanese instruments have been released on compact disk in Japan.

He is active as a composer and conductor in ORA-J, a chamber ensemble of Japanese instrumentalists devoted to developing new repertoire for traditional Japanese instruments and is currently working on an English translation of Minoru Miki's book, Composing for Japanese Instruments for publication.

Marty lives in Honolulu and is pursuing a Ph.D. in composition at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa where he continues his shakuhachi studies with Robert Herr. He plays shakuhachi in a sankyoku ensemble and regularly gives performances and lecture demonstrations at the University of Hawai‘i and at local public schools. He has collaborated with visiting shakuhachi and koto performers from Japan and is an enthusiastic advocate for Japanese performing arts in general. Marty was recently awarded the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship to support the composing of his dissertation in Japan, where he also intends to continue his shakuhachi studies in the Kinko school.

The Tai Hei Shakuhachi Scholarship is being awarded to Marty Regan in recognition of his impressive accomplishments over the last ten years. It also takes into account a tragic situation that occurred last fall. Marty's apartment was burglarized and he lost nearly everything of value, including computer, audio-visual and camera equipment, most of his recorded music archive, and his two main shakuhachi. A full-time student on limited income, the scholarship award will help Marty get back on his feet and recover from this terrible loss.

Marty can be contacted at reganm@hawaii.edu

Geleni Fontaine

Contributions generously donated to the 2004 Scholarship Fund totaled $250. This amount is being presented to Geleni Fontaine of Brooklyn, New York, a student of James Nyoraku Schlefer for the past three years. Geleni is a registered nurse who has forged a profound connection to the healing aspects of shakuhachi honkyoku. Unfortunately, her work for a non-profit, community-based, anti-violence organization empowering both adults and children through mind/body/spirit training, is being jeopardized by the current political climate. Lack of funding has forced this organization to close its doors after serving the community for thirty years. Loss of employment is making it very difficult for Geleni to continue her study of shakuhachi. While not a large amount, the scholarship award will help her continue on this path.


Devyn Keith

Devyn is 16 years old and a resident of Brattleboro, Vermont. While he has never played shakuhachi, Devyn has had a fascination with woodwind instruments and Japanese culture for most of his life. His great desire is to study shakuhachi with Phil Nyokai James, an instructor who recently moved to Vermont. Limited family income and other factors have made it impossible for him to pursue this dream. The 2004 Scholarship has been extended to provide Devyn with a shakuhachi flute and accessories so that he will now be able to begin taking lessons with Phil.

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