Open Air Concert at HCA on Jan. 1

courtesy photo | A free fireside concert featuring Burlington Taiko will be held on January 1 at Highland Center for the Arts.

GREENSBORO – The New Year will see the opening of the Open Air Gallery: Ski and Snowshoe Trail and a free fireside concert at Highland Center for the Arts with Burlington Taiko. 

The Burlington Taiko concert will begin at 1 p.m. Taiko is Japanese for “big drum” and is a modern revival of ancient Japanese drumming traditions. Taiko arrived in Japan around 500 AD and became part of Japanese culture; spiritual healers played taiko to dispel evil spirits and drive insects from the rice fields; Samurai employed taiko to instill fear in the enemy and courage in themselves; villagers used taiko in their prayers for rain and in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Over time, many areas developed unique choreography and rhythms for celebrating festivals or recreations of historical events.

In modern times, taiko has emerged as a performing art. Groups such as Osuwa Daiko, led by Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi, and Sukeroku Taiko of Tokyo pioneered the way in the ’70s and ’80s, collecting local festival rhythms and transforming them into stage performance pieces.

Burlington Taiko will also hold an outdoor workshop on January 2

Participants are advised to wear appropriate winter clothing, as this is an outdoor event. For more information, see highlandartsvt.org or call (802) 533-2000.