Tai Hei Shakuhachi
Scholarship Award

Once again, it was a challenge for Kayo and I to chose from amongst all of the worthy individuals who applied. Each and every one of you deserve recognition for your hard work and dedication to shakuhachi. We hope that in the future the idea of a scholarship will take hold and the fund will grow to include many more recipients. Many thanks to those who have applied, written letters of recommendation and generously donated so that we were able to expand this year's award.

Congratulations to the recipients!

Lucinda Gaston

Slow and limited recovery from fibromyalgia, a chronic illness accompanied by pain and disability, has not prevent Lucinda Gaston from playing an active role in the Denver/Boulder shakuhachi community. Indeed, shakuhachi is an important part of her recovery from this crippling disease. A student of David Wheeler, Cindy has received strong accolades from her teacher and fellow shakuhachi students who are inspired by her perseverance, work ethic and positive attitude. Her dedication to learning the classical Sankyoku repertoire and volunteer efforts on behalf of the shakuhachi community are clearly manifest. This year's award will enable Cindy to enhance her studies and involvement with shakuhachi in spite of the severe limitations and constraints that this disability has imposed upon her life. Cindy writes: "Shakuhachi has given me a way to re-train my brain, proven to me that I can again learn new things, provided a means for my hands to regain dexterity and given me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. . . . Shakuhachi continues to give my life structure and is the most important thing I do."

Award: $1,000

Ayano Ogura

Born in Japan, but raised in America, Ayano Ogura and her family had to move to and from Japan many times over the years. While this enriched her in many ways, finding a balance between these two diverse cultures has been a difficult but important challenge in the life of this college student at the University of California-San Diego. Shakuhachi for Ayano has become a bridge between this gap and the a deep resource for self-discovery. A student of Alex Khalil who studied with Dai Shihan Mori Kozan, Ayano writes, "Without the shakuhachi, I don't think I would have been able to experience the universal power which music has in bridging cultures together. I find peace in the shakuhachi's soothing music, and feel comforted by the fact that I can carry a part of Japanese culture with me wherever I go."

Award: $500

Shannon Wilber

One of the most dedicated students of Phil Nyokai James in Portland, Maine, Shannon Wilber has not allowed a "hand-to-mouth" existence, as he calls it, get in the way of his commitment to learning shakuhachi. Phil refers to Shannon as "the student every teacher dreams of" pointing to his unsurpassed dedication and remarkable progress in learning Jin Nyodo honkyoku repertoire in spite of the many challenges encountered in his life and living on a shoe-string budget. His "Komuso-like attitude" and irrepressible spirit has propelled Shannon to bring the sound of shakuhachi to the most unlikely places and audiences in the streets of Portland.

Award: $500

Yuko Yamamoto

Born in Japan and raised in Europe and America, Yuko Yamamoto came to shakuhachi in her search for roots of a native culture that had become "strangely distant" to her. It was as a student in Ireland that Yuko found "renewed interest" in learning the traditional music of Japan, and thereby, further her understanding of Japanese culture and herself. Learning shakuhachi, she writes, "is a necessity in continuing my life-long exploration of Japanese culture, through the lens of music". She is currently a student of Ralph Samuelson and Elizabeth Brown.

Award: $500

James Donahue

A graduate student of flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, James Donahue also studies shakuhachi with Michael Chikuzen Gould. His current focus is on interpretation of flute works by contemporary Asian composers. The dedicated life of a "starving student" has limited James to practicing on a borrowed plastic shakuhachi as his limited budget has made purchasing a more suitable instrument impossible. Through the gracious donation of Lin Maxwell, James will soon be blowing on a traditional 1.8' root-end shakuhachi made of "real" bamboo.

Award: Shakuhachi and Accessories

Arrow Scholarship Page
Arrow Tai Hei Shakuhachi Homepage
Arrow Main Menu