Benefit Concert for Japanese Relief Features Organ

Three months after the tsunami and earthquake hit Japan, tens of thousands of people still live in temporary shelters. A benefit concert for Japanese relief efforts, featuring Cornell’s new baroque organ, will be held on Saturday, July 2nd, 7:30-9:30 pm at Cornell’s Anabel Taylor Chapel.

Cornell?s baroque organ owes a special debt to Japan: its designer, Munetaka Yokota, is Japanese. “We felt that we could make a contribution, using this wonderful instrument that owes much to a long tradition of Japanese craftsmanship, to the victims of the Japanese disaster,” says Cornell professor of music Annette Richards.

The program features Richards and Cornell professor of music David Yearsley on the baroque organ; local musician Jayne Demakos on the harp; and Cornell Asian Studies lecturer Sahoko Ichikawa on the Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Retired Cornell Asian Studies senior lecturer Kyoko Selden will sing Japanese poetry related to the natural world, with local writer, landscape architect, and benefit organizer Marc Keane reading English translations.

The money raised will support the work of the Tohoku Disaster Relief NGO Center, in Yamagata Prefecture, located directly west of Miyagi Prefecture, where about 40,000 people are living in emergency evacuation centers. Using local human resources, Tohoku Disaster Relief has been delivering relief supplies and sending volunteers to evacuation shelters and hospitals every day. The organization also initiated a program called “Cash for Work,” which offers much-needed jobs and income to the tsunami victims by hiring them to take part in rehabilitation efforts.

A minimum donation of $20 is requested for the concert, but all amounts are welcome, says Keane. Tickets will be available at the door; cash or check only. Reservations can be made via email to Keane at

Contributions can also be sent to Marc Peter Keane, 119 Irving Place, Ithaca, NY 14850-4711; checks should be made out to CTA (Center for Transformative Action) and are tax-deductible.