UNC Pembroke music faculty member Joseph Van Hassel traveled to Japan this summer to perform percussion as a soloist and ensemble member.
Dr. Van Hassel’s first engagement was performing at a concert of the percussion music of Takayoshi Yoshioka at the Takasaki City Theater––one of the largest live performance theatres in Japan. This concert included a performance by Van Hassel of Yoshioka’s Suite No. 4 for solo marimba, which was composed for him and premiered in April at UNCP.
Dr. Van Hassel then traveled to the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music for a percussion masterclass and recital performance for the percussion students and faculty.
While visiting Japan, Van Hassel was honored to visit legendary marimbist Keiko Abe at her home in Tokyo. Abe, 86, is one of the most well-marimbists in the world and a significant figure in the history of percussion, integral in developing the solo marimba as the instrument we know today.
Takayoshi Yoshioka, Van Hassel’s host in Japan, visited UNCP with his marimba duo partner Reiko Shiohama in April for a series of performances and classes. He also publishes Yoshioka’s music with his publishing company Media Press.
Van Hassel joined the UNCP faculty in 2014 and teaches percussion while serving as the music department chair.