Event Report: Yokoso! Welcome! Galway City Chamber Choir x Bloomsday Night

On 13th June, the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce and the Irish Network Japan welcomed the Galway City Chamber Choir (GCCC) to Japan for a special Bloomsday Concert event.

The GCCC are visiting multiple cities nationwide as the first amateur choral group from Ireland to do a concert tour in Japan. We were delighted to welcome 29 members of the Galway City Chamber Choir for their first performance of the tour at local Irish Pub Peter Cole in Nishi Shinjuku.

The event had a Bloomsday theme in honour of the national holiday which celebrates the life and works of Irish literary giant James Joyce held each year on 16th June. We were delighted to have a beautiful selection of handcrafted hats, kindly provided by Katsuko Nagano of EDHAT, for attendees to don and join in the Bloomsday festivities. To mark this special occasion, Peter Cole also created an exclusive Bloomsday menu to accompany the theme. Attendees enjoyed Guinness, O'Haras and Magners (Bulmers) Cider together with flavours inspired by the settings of Joyce's works.

The event was MC'd by Youji Tomiyama from the INJ and Lily Wu from the IJCC. Doire Myler, Chairperson of the INJ, and Yoshihiro Tsuchiya, President of the IJCC also shared their warm welcome and thanks to the GCCC and all attendees in their opening statements.

Throughout the evening, the Galway City Chamber Choir performed a variety of pieces, ranging from traditional Irish music and local favourites to South African music. Attendees were fully captivated by their moving, emotional performances. We also welcomed IJCC Corporate member Dai Komatsu of Ode Inc. and Miho Bannai who performed a fantastic set of traditional Irish music on fiddle and piano. For the final piece, the GCCC and the Komatsu-Bannai duo came together with our attendees to sing a lively rendition of 'Galway Girl'. Thanks again to all the members of GCCC, Komatsu-san and Bannai-san for sharing your wonderful talent with members and friends of the IJCC and INJ.

Finally, we drew the winners for our much-anticipated raffle. We welcomed Stephen Carroll, GCCC Choral Director, to join the MCs on stage and draw the winning tickets for each prize. Many thanks to EDHAT, the Busker, Eghan's, Rathbornes 1488, ONODA, Toyoko Inn, Peter Cole, Irish Network Japan and Plankton Co.,Ltd for their generous sponsorship!

A special thanks to everyone at the Irish Network Japan for co-hosting this event with us. We look forward to more INJ-IJCC collaborations together in the near future!

Happy Bloomsday!