Last week was our yosenkai (send-off) for our third-year students. Most schools tend to have some kind of event for graduating students, whether it be from elementary, middle, or high school. There’s another word for send-off, 送別会 (soubetsukai) which is fairly common, but yosenkai, the word our school uses, is a kind of fancy word that denotes that the event is specifically for graduates, and the ‘sen’ can be written with either 餞 (hanamuke, which means ‘parting gift’) or 饌 (‘sen’ that comes from 饌米, or “rice that is consecrated for a deity”). Whatever way you choose to write it, they all basically mean the same kind of event these days.
The wind ensemble and the dance club performed, as well as the baseball club and a couple of other groups. The music teacher asked me to do a last minute collaboration with him. He asked me to choose a song (!!!) at the very last minute, so I ended up settling on “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” by Green Day, since I figured that was appropriate for a high school send-off (Ha, maybe like 12 years ago). Also, I didn’t really have time to learn how to play anything new, and I didn’t really feel like playing anything original, since I didn’t feel like my songs would fit with the event. Lastly, I was asked to do this the day before the actual send-off, I just… happened to know how to play it, and the chords were simple enough so the music teacher could ad-lib an accompaniment during the bridge of the song. I don’t teach the third-year students, so I don’t know them very well, but I was glad that I got to participate in the event. Some of the kids even knew who Green Day was, go figure. Getting a chance to play at the Kiryu performing arts center was really awesome, even if the song I was covering wasn’t all that great... The most important thing is that the kids had fun, and I had fun too!
(sorry for the poor quality photos! The school photographer gave me actual, physical, photographs! I took photos of his photos with my phone, since I don’t have a scanner.)