Burlington Taiko Performs in St Johnsbury

Taiko newslinc DONOTSAVEOVER copy 4ST. JOHNSBURY- The Burlington Taiko, a Japanese style of drumming performed today at the St. Johnsbury Academy's Fuller Hall today. Burlington Taiko is a group that started by Stuart Paton in 1987.

Paton was born in Connecticut and grew up in Tokyo, Japan and since then he has shown his passion for the Japanese culture. Many different students from many different schools came to attend the show. The drummers had performed about five different songs including, a Tokyo dragon piece in which Paton had worn a dragon costume.

"I like to share the Taiko with the audience and I really enjoy teaching so for the performances, I'm using it as a time for recruiting new performers and recruit new students, " said Paton.

Paton attended a bilingual school in Tokyo, while attending he learned English for part of his day and Japanese for the other part of the day. Paton then attended college at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. While attending college he came upon a Taiko class and realized he missed the cultural experiences he had while in Japan. In 1984 he began to join a Taiko class in San Francisco and eventually started his own class in 1987.

"Taiko has been in Japan since recorded history one thousand five hundred years ago when Buddhism came to Japan, some Taiko drums came to Japan as well and so Buddhist Taiko history started fifteen hundred years ago, there were drums in Japan before that, Taiko has been an occupant instrument in folk music, festivals, ceremonies and now it's part of K-12 physical education and music curriculums," said Paton.

Paton explained how the drums are about five-hundred dollars each to make. The drums are made out of cow and horse skin. They also use giant pipes and aluminum to make the drums. An average drum takes about two weeks to make.

Taiko is very popular in the Western part of the world because it is often seen as a unique cultural cardio.

"It's a deeply, delightful combination of movement and voice and music.It's a visual and athletic style of drumming. It's a mix of dance, athletics, martial arts and music, " said Paton.

The Burlington Taiko primarily travels around New England to perform, but they have also performed in New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio. They also hold conferences all over the world, they recently were in Germany. They will be going to Lyndon State College on Monday April 23rd to help teach a drumming class.

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