The 39th All Japan Guitar Concours, 2008

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

The 39th All Japan Guitar Concours were held from Sept. 15 to Oct. 12, 2008 and that is specially featured in this issue. This concours is sponsored by Nippon 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 (Taishogoto) and electric guitar. The comment of judge and criticism for guitar Ensemble & Orchestra Departments given by Dr. Hiroki Niibori, president and chairman of judge, is introduced here.
Guitar Ensemble usually gives you an image of prime guitar duo, but Ensemble Department of this concours gives you as string quintet, using each sound range guitar of N-Method = an organization with 1st Alto guitar, 2nd Alto guitar, Prime guitar, Bass guitar and Guitarron. This organization, like Niibori Guitar Ladies' Quartet (4 ladies and a man), will be said as a boom that so many participating groups were organized as this. And other groups performed with the organization like that of DANROKU (Men's Sextet) = Soprano guitar, 1st Prime guitar, 2nd Prime guitar, Prime Cembalo guitar, Bass guitar and Guitarron. The Ensemble Department of this concours basically standing 1 performer for 1 part and it would be better to be understood as Department of small ensemble.
<Finishing the 39th All Japan Guitar Concours -- from the chairman Dr. Hiroki Niibori's comment>
This concours reaching 39th year has been brought up to outstanding concours as so many audiences standing were seen on the final day's <Ensemble Department> in big hall (about 1500 seats). I, as the originator of this concours, am very happy and proud of that has been continued for 39 years without intermission. I appreciate from bottom of my heart for all supporters.
<Ensemble Department> with excellent middle school students showed so many high records. Children of 13~15 years old could become to be able to give high leveled, exceeding professionals, performance would be the result of systematic support and lead by many peoples for long times.
<NKG> (Nippon Kyouiku Guitar Renmei) had been being asked to lead for more than 25 years of the guitar club of the middle school, won top award at ensemble department for this time, and I know the all process of their progress. I would like to tell "how middle school students could grow up like this" in accordance with real example.
This middle school aimed "education in well balance of intellect and feelings" since its establishment and thinking "only ensemble with Niibori-Method was the best fit to middle school students in period of growth", we were officially asked to lead the guitar club in 5th year of establishment.
I had chance to meet the teacher in charge of guitar club at the time of establishment on the other day at the school. The teacher said to be just came back to the school recently after transfers. The teacher moved my "theory of guitar ensemble best fit to school education", 25 years ago, and he remembered my hot talk on "6000 years history of guitar and guitar ensemble with middle school students".
And 5 years after that time, 20 years ago, NKG (myself) dispatched present coach for usual guidance and the same coach continued to lead eagerly until now.
I have been certainly invited to lead once a year until now. When I go to lead, parents of guitar club students come to see me and we have pleasant talk in car.
BGM is surely pieces of music of their children learning, mothers talk their impressions eagerly and I can learn many.
At my open lesson, parents and relatives stand at backward of class room to hear eagerly episodes of music being told to students of the middle school and backward seats become to be bubbled over with excitement quicker than students. All of parents with students are enjoying their surprisingly rapid progress.
We talked about many things at principal's room before and after the lesson. In every year, we talk about the subjects of the year eating delicious local pears. 5~10 years were necessary to provide instruments, for instance, to have sound of middle school students' guitar orchestra blended into such a splendid sound. Supporters of the middle school guitar club = parents of them understand, cooperate and support every thing.
Children in primary school age in this district are said to be showing increase to apply for admission to this middle school, now known as distinguished school for guitar. The many graduates from this school will go on to "High school course of International Niibori Guitar Music Academy" and many of them systematically take their course to become professionals.
"High school course in International Niibori Guitar Music Academy" provides "lessons on specialized field of music (guitar)", simultaneously with general education curriculums in general high schools and graduates will receive "qualification to enter university" and diploma of "graduation of vocational college" at the graduation. Graduates, in high school course or specialized course, of this middle school are seemed voluntarily leading younger students graduated same middle school. Not only for entire member's ensemble (big organization) but also for excellent small ensembles, many ensembles are organized continuously, studying each other, and they are aiming to reach the level of first class for performance, of course, clothing, action and even for make up. Now in 2008, tradition of man to man leading by high leveled careful leaders has been brought up to make it possible to make progress very well for each of guitar club members. Guitar clubs of other schools are also doing same way as mentioned above, now orchestra or ensemble department for students in this concours reaching extremely high level and ensemble department is evaluated as "it is surely in top level in the world" by inspectors, inspecting overseas' guitar concours.
<Orchestra Department> As the features for this department in this year, general division (division for orchestra by widely aged members from children to adults) showed progress in fully harmonizing (organization with many kinds of instrument) and applying PLERA, joyful to see. As the top prize for general division for this year was won by Mie Prefecture,Tsu citizen's guitar orchestra, locating far away from headquarter of N-Method, practical usage of DVD and improved convenience of traffic made it possible to participate in concerts and classes easily from distant areas and proved to make it possible for local classes to reach higher level than classes in central area.
For this year also, it will be said as the main factor for victory or defeat would be "level of conducting" and "number of members".

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