Yamato of Riverside, Calif., and Kyoto, Japan, hopes to add 30 Japanese members to its 2004 corps. They'll do this by establishing a 60-member competing group in Japan (called Yamato Japan, or YJ!) that will learn the same show as their American corps over the winter rehearsal season. 30 of these members will eventually travel to the United States to join their American counterparts and compete in the 2004 DCI season. Yamato Japan will begin with a nationwide audition process where co-director Bobby Ohtsuki will travel to 10 major regions and cities such as Hokkaido, Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Nagoya and Kanazawa, where potential members will audition. Each person will also be videotaped for our U.S. instructors to review, evaluate and advise the applicant's status. At the conclusion of Yamato's DCI Tour, the Japanese members will return and begin rehearsals in preparation for the regional competition to qualify for the All-Japan Marching Band National Contest. YJ! will not be limited to only Japanese members. If there are American members who which to travel to Japan and compete at the national competition, the opportunity will be made available to them. In anticipation of Yamato's 10th Anniversary in 2006, YJ! will also assemble a "Blast!"-like stage group, the Yamato Performance and Visual Ensemble. This group will perform several concerts in the Kyoto-Osaka area in the Fall of 2005. As Yamato refines its onstage production, in 2006 the Yamato Performance and Visual Ensemble will embark on a nationwide tour. Yamato was originally conceived to be a drum corps that competed only in North America, aimed at both American and Japanese members. However, Yamato's name and presence in Japan was almost non-existent. In its seven-year history, Yamato has never performed or competed in Japan.
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