On Saturday August 22nd 2009, the “Flower Joint Concert” took place for the 12th time in history. This project (organized by Groundwork Fukuoka) gives handicapped people the opportunity to perform in front of a mixed audience (including handicapped people, too). Thus it is a step towards the barrier – free society Groundwork Fukuoka aims at.
Ａｔ 1:30 pm, a band consisting of a blind pianist, guitarist and singer was the first to perform. It was amazing to see how they only needed some assistance for orientation on stage, but how easily we forgot about their handicaps when they performed and got into the music.
As next, the choir of the Fukuoka School for Blind Students sang a couple of songs, giving us another pleasant surprise about how music connects to everybody. The blind pianist (a member of that choir) who performed afterwards gave a nearly perfect performance of Chopin. He felt the music and understood the development of the different melodies to an amazing degree.
The dance of a group of children suffering from Down’s Syndrome which was next on the program was absolutely cool and worthy to be shown on famous stages. It made us all feel the rhythm of the music and we thanked the dancers with very loud cheering and applause.
To hear Wada Naoko (a professional in Japanese traditional instruments) perform on the Ocarina was a different experience. With a sound like a bird she performed Western and Japanese songs.
At the end we could enjoy everybody together singing the “Groundwork Fukuoka Theme song” “You are wonderful” (君はすばらしい)and get an idea of Groundwork Fukuoka’s work watching the slide show.
The concert truly was a step towards an integrative society where music is one of the best ways to enter.
Grams of sold tea and many CDs later, Groundwork staff enjoyed an excellent dinner together.