Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Staff Spotlight - Chiaki Hanafusa

Chiaki Hanafusa in the MusickEd lab.
Saxophonist Chiaki Hanafusa recently completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance at the acclaimed University of North Texas School of Music.  She has been on staff at The Dallas School of Music and MusickEd.com for more than three years and hails from Saitama, Japan.  "It's a neighboring city of Tokyo" she says with a smile.

Chiaki started playing saxophone at age 14. But when she was little she had something else in mind for her life.  "I was thinking that my career would be making music, but with a Japanese stringed instrument called a koto which I played since I was 6 yrs old. Neither I or anyone in my family could imagine that I would end up playing saxophone." 

It was a school band audition that changed everything. "When I entered middle school I tried playing the saxophone, clarinet and trumpet in the band. Saxophone was the most comfortable instrument for me to play, and I really liked the sound. But they assigned me to clarinet
because there were too many people who wanted to play saxophone."

She never lost interest in the instrument even as she played clarinet in the band for two full years.  "I finally convinced my parents and the teachers to switch me over and I haven't stopped playing saxophone since then. That band tryout literally changed my life."

I asked Chiaki if she has any special favorite songs or styles of music that she enjoys. "There are so many pieces I like, so I can't possibly choose just one or two as a favorite! I like to play alot of contemporary or new music and I love the sound of saxophone playing transcriptions of baroque music as well." 

We are happy she's here. Arigatou Chiaki!