CLARINDA, Iowa — It's not often that a band will give its audience a standing ovation.
But that's what happened here during a performance Thursday by the Tamana Girls High School Band.
The Japanese band, a biennial visitor to Clarinda for the annual Glenn Miller Festival, provided the first concert of this year's event. But midway through the first orchestral set, the band — directed by Shinichi Yoneda — stole the show.
Principal Isao Fukuoka, a frequent visitor to Clarinda with his school's band, came on stage to make a special presentation. On behalf of the school, and of the people of Japan, he thanked the Clarinda community for its financial donation after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the country.
A video presentation was then made, showing Mana Sugimoto, a high school student and trumpeter from northern Japan, whose community was devastated in the disaster. The video showed her receiving one of the many musical instruments also donated by the southwest Iowa community.
After the video was shown, Sugimoto was welcomed to the front of the stage from her position in the brass line at the back. An interpreter explained that Sugimoto was invited to perform with the band during its U.S. tour this summer to thank those who had contributed musical instruments.
Sugimoto read a brief statement in English, thanking those who donated to help her people. She ended with a deep bow of gratitude before returning to her position on the brass line.
The second set of the band's show was a jazz set, which included a heavy dose of Glenn Miller standards, much to the delight of the audience.
The band performs again at 8 tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Clarinda High School auditorium.