The 37th All Japan Guitar Competition, 2006

Kiyomi Niibori (a member of NE & Ladies' Quartet, Master of Arts in Music)

The 37th All Japan Guitar Competition, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 9, was held and reported in this issue as special feature article. This competition is sponsored by Nippon(Japan) Kyouiku Guitar Renmei <NKG> and International Guitar Orchestra Association < IGOA>(President : Hiroki Niibori) and this is a world’s exceptional, synthetic competition (11 departments in total) organized with solo, ensemble, guitar orchestra, conducting, arrangement, composition, education, guitar & mandolin, guitar manufacturing, key board guitar (Taisho-goto) and electric guitar.
The comment of judge and criticism for guitar Orchestra Department given by Dr. Hiroki Niibori, president and chairman of judge, is introduced here.

Finishing the 37th All Japan Guitar Competition -- from the chairman, Dr. Hiroki Niibori’s comment
<Guitar Orchestra Dep. – General Part> The most excellent point was that the overall ability was grown up as every party could get golden prize in accordance with progress of detailed exchange of information (study). Studied the most important conducting (finding the level of others at frequent lectures), trained for well balanced organization (combination of newest scores and instruments to attain high leveled superb sound), musical breathing (movement of body and eyes) suitable to the piece of music, suitable clothing and good manners on the stage, to be able to get golden prize for every party and I could not find any extremely inferior party. Furthermore, parties that studied the latest PLERA (visual expression) competed for top prize. Especially an original piece “KAZE NO TABIBITO” (traveler of wind) performed by Shibuya Guitar Orchestra enthusiastically attracted heart of audience and judges with using not only suitable clothing and instrument sounding like wind (melody pipe) but also providing suitable breathing for expressing heart of the piece of music. The regrettable points for being taken top prize by Kinshicho Guitar Ensemble were insufficient lowest sound and slightly unnatural ending resulted from incomplete peak of set piece. Kinshicho, this team won the top prize in Japan for continuous 2 years, showed precise performance with well controlled peaks of set piece, Handel’s “Gavotte”, and also, with latitude and sense of stability for fantastic intervals in voluntary piece “OKA WO KOETE”. As the conducting won top prize, leading capability before point and sufficient holding of upbeat baton at the highest position surely make performers being absorbed to the piece of music to extract their best record. This point will be good reference for many performers. Especially DVD etc. will be the best help for study.
Furthermore, “Human Voice” is utilized in many pieces and they are thought to be very nice.
I suppose there will be many occasion to perform many pieces of music utilizing chorus and shout of various kinds, and there will be many possibilities as exceeding 6,000 years history of guitar contains greater part of history of guitar and human voice. Kawasaki Guitar Ensemble succeeded with combining well trained boys’ and girls’ chorus and guitar ensemble to show refreshing, joyful dramas. That was the best example of well trained vocalization resulting sufficient volume of voice. It is natural to win “PLERA Prize”. Performers in <Student Part> are recommended to learn as a reference. “TINSAGUNU HANA” performed by Konandai Guitar Orchestra, winner of Golden Prize, successfully showed visually a color of Okinawa. The shout of men and women separately heard in this piece of music is easily failed unless performed with getting in role. High grade practice including conducting brought the level exceeding amateur with suitable action. Performers in other ensemble are recommended to practice the shout “Hei” & “Hai” and songs surely. All of your full utilization of text books of NRM (rhythm and breathing) containing shout, published up to 6th issue will be recommended.
<Guitar Orchestra Dep. – Student Part> Difference between superior school and inferior one seems to be widening. It is very important to make good use of leading by professional coach, course of conducting, summer school (courses of Alt guitar, Cembalo guitar, Bass guitar and Guitallon etc.), enjoying concert of internationally high level, social gatherings, visual data, books, monthly Harmony etc. The difference of progress began widening between schools effectively utilizing excellent materials and the other schools suddenly selecting conductor from own students without information exchange under the name of independence inside the wall of school. Conducting, highly developed art, is too much work for a student. Preparation for few years will be better but considerably unreasonable for period of attending school in 2 or 3 years.
The most of teams won above Golden Prize are conducted by graduates after learning at vocational colleges. The school, can not afford, will be able to ask to teacher of music, well versed person or coach. Period of attending middle or high school is short. Degree of pleasure in guitar ensemble depends surprisingly upon conductor and leader. Conducting by the person, well mastered fundamental technique of conductor and having capability to lead music, is required for students. Especially in guitar ensemble, easier to see conducting is needed than for orchestra. It is possible to finish music suitable for the piece of music in short time with natural breathing and motion of performer’s body under an excellent conductor.
It can be said that unreasonable conducting resulted in no prize, of course insufficient total score. For example, many conductors moved left hand wastefully and conducting far from expression with musical breathing without eyes meeting to let performers make solid body. To avoid those poor states, watching reference VTR on large screen is desirable. - an omission -
For Sakado High School, why is necessary music stand of that big size for 2 conductors conduct 1 piece of music in turn? Conductor will look down to watch musical score and conductor memorizing the piece of music is desirable. It is not good to move neck for each one beat. For the set piece, elbow of conductor moves down and top edge of baton keeps pointing ceiling. Holding baton slantwise is not recommended. Shiba Gakuen also has capability to win top prize but many points were deducted for conductor.
It becomes very hard to make good musical expression of upper half of the body with keeping legs spread apart. Rhythm of theme of Persian Market is vertical (up and down). Keeping heels in touch with floor makes performers difficult to have vertical rhythm. It is impossible to vividly express legato horizontal flow in contrast without well expressed vertical rhythm. For those points, conducting of Kamagaya 5th Middle School and Oogawara High School showed good fundamentals make it easy to express musical content. I hope you will study in detail by visual record. Of course it is desirable to study at conducting course and personal lesson on conducting at International Niibori Guitar Music Academy or other college for guitar.
VTR of Ensemble department will be put on sale. Reading this comment of judge and criticism with watching VTR, it will be more useful reference. Especially later halves of general and student part (B and E of below) contain good material for enjoying.

VTR of 37th All Japan Guitar Competition each price 4,000yen (tax included, separate charge of freight)

A Student Part No.1-9 are recorded
Student Part No.10-19
C General Part No.1-10
General Part No.11-20
E General Part No.21-30

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