CUPA 2020 GALA
Japan – Taiwan – USA Friendship Concert
Of course, it was snowing. The first day in the year with inclement weather, and the first of the Winter season that finally brought about worry into the minds of the people of New York. We were worried whether people would even show up, and rightfully so. The scenery outside was one of nostalgia and concern, but the effects on our climate is a story for another day. At the Scandinavian Theatre located on Park Avenue, there was about to be an ensemble of talent and inspiration that would warm the souls who would hopefully attend.
A 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, “CATCH US PERFORMING ARTS” (CUPA) in its second year of operation hosted their first-anniversary gala, “Japan-Taiwan-USA Friendship Fundraising Concert” at the Scandinavia House in Manhattan on Saturday, January 18th, 2020.
CUPA invited Japanese artistic producer, Rintaro Dainichi, president of Furusato-no-Monogatari Production Committee, based out of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture, Japan. The concert featured Daisuke Oyama, a baritone Opera singer residing in Japan, Caroline Miller, a soprano from the USA, and Ping-An Lin, a pianist from Taiwan all gathered in that night New York City. Together the three of them created the harmonious melody and an atmosphere that could even challenge a full-scale production.
The concert was constructed in two parts; the first was a variety of different genres in music solos, duets, and narratives from each of the performer’s respective countries. Ping-An’s piano solo was that of a Taiwanese folk song, “Grasshopper Playing Tricks on a Rooster,” Oyama sang a Japanese classic, “The Moon of Wild Castle,” and Miller performed “Will He Like Me” from the Broadway Musical, She Loves Me. The latter half was the presentation of the overarching theme of the concert “Uniting Through Music”. Ping-An sang in Japanese, Oyama sang in English & Taiwanese and Miller sang in Taiwanese.
What was truly remarkable was that all three performers sang in languages that were not of their mother tongue. What followed was a seamless connection between the three and how each of them gave their utmost respect to one another’s nation and respective language. Even if one was not knowledgeable of any of the languages, it can be said with ease that the showcase the three gave was nothing short of awe-inspiring and strengthened the notion of a robust unity amongst the three nations being represented.
Despite the weather, by the end of the evening, such warmth reached the one-hundred-plus attendees with music, compassion, and a message of collaboration worth listening to. The main mission of that cold and snow pounding night; to promote unity, was reached. As the evening came to a close, there was nobody sitting on a seat and the tension of the signature New York Winter was nowhere to be found in the theatre. What the three performers felt alongside the event hosts were at the very least at ease, and more honestly at relative peace. This was the event of Catch Us; and yes, we did catch them.