The Pacific Music Festival

Sapporo, July 2015 Pacific Music Festival

I love the spirit and the globalness of the Pacific Music Festival! This year, the PMF orchestra was made up of 78 young musicians from 23 countries – who have all won their place in the orchestra through online auditions – and the mentors/teachers come from some of the best orchestras in the world. I was very happy to be there in Sapporo as a mentor for the second year running. PMF has a really positive energy about it but, of course, it’s a lot of hard work for everyone too.

It’s so interesting to learn how people from different countries make music in their own unique ways. My horn section were already good players so my job as a mentor was to bring their different schools of playing together and create one unified sound. I was so proud of them – the PMF Horns rocked! (but didn’t rock the boat…check the video in the Outtakes below).

In fact, my horn section rocked so much that they are the stars of this episode of Sarah’s Music. The highlight was our Kimono adventure when we were dressed in traditional Japanese costume to play a concert in the local park. It was a lot of fun but we all agreed that it´s extremely difficult to play the horn in a kimono! I had been told that Japanese women always stand with their feet together while wearing kimono – but YOU try playing horn in a boiling hot (‘atusi’ in Japanese) and extremely tight kimono with your feet together.. It certainly was a unique experience and the audience in the park were very appreciative of the music and the fact we had dressed up for them. We were very grateful to the Harmony Volunteers who lent us the kimonos and dressed us so patiently. Check out the Making Of photos – you can see more there, including how hot we got!

A huge thank you to the wonderful PMF team, especially Nick Akers who was such a help with the organizing. Also many thanks to my Japanese on-site producer, Naoyuki Hayashi – I couldn’t have done this without him! I hope you enjoy this episode and see what wonderful things PMF are doing for the young musicians in our music world.