Japanese School Band visit to Galway Schools


Project Name

Japanese School Band visit to Galway Schools

Project Partners

EU Japan Fest Japan Committee, supported by The Embassy of Japan in Ireland, Galway Culture Company, Galway City Council, Galway Convention Bureau, Galway Chamber of Commerce and Galway Cathedral and Dublin City University.

Role of Galway Culture Company

Supporter and Funder

Strategic Aim

This project falls under our second strategic aim;
Support and Develop Place-based Cultural Programming

Project Description

The Higashikawa Band, consisting of the Higashikawa Junior High School Wind Orchestra, the Higashikawa High School Wind Orchestra, and alumni of each, from Higashikawa, Hokkaido, Japan visited Galway and Dublin between 12th and 21st. September, 2022. The visit was an initiative of the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee. It was planned to take place during Galway European Capital of Culture in 2020 and but came to fruition in September 2022.

The band, which consists of 60 of Japan’s finest young wind and brass players, spent five days in Galway. They delivered concerts in schools, integrating with Galway school children by exchanging cultural identities and sitting in on classes.

Schools visited during the exchange included Ballinasloe Secondary School on Monday 12th, Claddagh National School on Tuesday 13th and Coláiste Bhaile Chláir on Thursday 15th September.

The Higashikawa Band also engaged, rehearsed and performed with students from Athenry Music School, the Galway Chamber Choir and St Patricks Brass Band Galway and Ballinasloe Brass Band.

The Galway visit culminated in a free performance featuring music from Ireland and Japan in the Galway Cathedral on Sunday the 18th September at 7:30pm. The event featured the Higashikawa Band alongside students from Athenry Music School, the Galway Chamber Choir and St Patricks Brass Band. The visit and concerts were curated and artistically directed by Professor James Cavanagh in collaboration with Claddagh School of Music, Athenry Music School and St. Patricks Brass Band.

Following their concert in Galway The Higashikawa Band traveled to Dublin where they performed at Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross and also with the renowned Dublin Concert Band at All Hallows Church Drumcondra on Tuesday 20th September at 8:00pm. Admission to all events was free.

Projects outcomes-what we expect from this project

Project outcomes included the continuation of the international relationship with the EU Japan Fest Japan Committee; young Japanese musicians sharing their musical and cultural identity with young Irish musicians, creating wonderful experiences and long-lasting life-long friendships; and Chairman Mr. Kunibe of the EU Japan Fest Japan Committee visiting and meeting with various social, cultural and business organisations.

How is this project funded

This project was funded by Galway City Council, EU Japan Fest and Galway Culture Company, which is supported by the Government of Ireland under the National Development Plan through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.


The programme duration was 10 days, from 12-21 September, 2022.