2022 Performing Artists

Miyabi Koto & Shamisen Ensemble is a New York based
group founded and headed by Ms. Masayo Ishigure.
Ms. Ishigure began playing the koto and shamisen at the
age of five, and later developed her skills with Tadao and
Kazue Sawai as a special research student.

The ensemble consists of members of the Sawai Koto Academy which is one of the most prominent schools for contemporary Koto and Shamisen music. The aim of the academy is to incorporate many influences from classical to jazz and thus change the perception of the koto solely as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness. Since its foundation in 1996, MIYABI’s repertoire has ranged from classical to contemporary koto and shamisen music. The ensemble especially dedicates themselves to playing Tadao Sawai’s compositions. They have played many concerts in the New York Metropolitan area, the eastern United States, Hawaii, and South America. In addition, they have been introducing Japanese culture through workshops and school performances. 


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Akira Murotani (trumpet), Alexandra Tsilibes (violin), Adrian Mann (bass)

Akira Murotani is Third Trumpet with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.since 1998.  He is a trumpet instructor at Goshen College. Murotani holds a BMusEd with a minor in mathematics from Luther College and a MM and DMA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Murotani performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy for two summers and has played with the Grand Rapids and South Bend Symphonies. He is a jazz enthusiast.

Wayne Peterson , Music Director of Trinity Episcopal Church since 1987,  earned a BA Degree in Education (Concordia University—Chicago), a MM Degree with Distinction (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University), and a DSM Degree  (Graduate Theological Foundation), with additional study at the Royal School of Church Music (Croydon, England), McGill University (Montréal), Community of Jesus Master Schola, and private lessons in Paris.  He is a former Associate Faculty Member at IPFW, is Past President of Indiana Organists United at Indiana University. Other memberships include the Association of Anglican Musicians, Pi Kappa Lambda honorary music society, Sigma Alpha Iota Friend of the Arts (honorary), Quest Club, and the American Guild of Organists (AGO), serving at local, state, and national levels. He is professionally certified by the AGO as a Choir Master and Fellow, the Guild’s highest distinction. Locally, he occasionally performs on organ or harpsichord with the Bach Collegium, Heartland Sings, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Eleganza Baroque Ensemble.

Alexandra Tsilibes is a Section Violinist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic since 2000.  She earned a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music and a MM from Stony Brook University.  Tsilibes has been a member of the Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Flint and South Bend Symphonies and has participated in numerous festivals.

Adrian Mann joined the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in 1973 as Principal Bass. Additional positions he has held over the years with the Phil include Personnel Manager, Director of In-School Presentations, Director of Gallery Concerts, and Stage Manager. He has been Staff Arranger since 1990 and Librarian since 2007.  Since 1990 the Phil has performed over 75 of his arrangements and more than a dozen original compositions.

Fort Wayne Taiko was established in 1997, a program of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, and is the only taiko group in Indiana and one of the few in the Midwest.  Taiko is a Japanese musical tradition that means “big drum”.  Taiko’s characteristic beat is achieved through choreographed arm movements as drummers “dance” their sticks from drum to drum.


Tea Ceremony, the ritualized preparation and presentation of matcha, a powdered green tea, is demonstrated by Shie Otani, who lived in Goshen, Indiana.  Ms. Otani began practice of the tea ceremony in 1968, Ura Senke Style, in Kure City, Japan.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we offer a video of the 2019 Tea Ceremony rather than a live demonstration this year.

Minyo Dancers.  Minyo, a genre of traditional Japanese folk music and dance was originally sung and danced as people worked.  Minyo dances and songs connect with celebrations and legends of Japan as well as work and trades from different regions.


Kendama is a popular Japanese skill toy.  Mike Tsugawa, a 2nd Dan in the Japanese Kendama Association, will demonstrate tricks and techniques. Mike has taught Japanese at Michigan City High School since 2002, and was recognized as Teacher of the year by the Indiana Foreign Language Teacher Association in 2016.

Spirit Bomb is a dynamic live musical act featuring popular Japanese anime songs with authentic Japanese vocals. The concept for the band sprang from guitarist and music producer Kevin Samuel's Youtube channel, which combines his passion for music with his love for anime. When Kevin asked Elaina Robbins, a Japanese American classical crossover singer, to collaborate on a video for the channel, Spirit Bomb was born. Spirit Bomb's fun, energetic concert performance features powerful multilingual vocals, electric guitar, synth keyboards, saxophone, drums, and bass along with visuals and engaging karaoke-style lyrics. Check us out at spiritbombmusic.com.

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Fort Wayne Suzuki Strings offers instruction in violin, viola, and cello to students age 3 and older.  There are many parallels between learning a language and learning to play a musical instrument.  The Suzuki Method is modeled on the process a child uses to learn to speak, conceived by Japanese violinist and teacher Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998).

Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Chamber Singers, provides a choral program exemplifying artistic and educational excellence for children from diverse backgrounds.  Over 300 students participate in the choir, which contributes to the community’s cultural environment.  FWCC is proud to represent 88 different schools in addition to 29 home school groups from 8 north east Indiana and northwest Ohio counties.


Indianapolis Kendo Club.  Kendo is the traditional Japanese sport of fencing with bamboo swords.  It is widely practiced in many nations around the world.

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900 Library Plaza

Fort Wayne, Indiana



May 15, 2022



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