‘One of most extraordinary students,’ Eguchi ’03 offers two programs

Yuko Eguchi '03 visits Bates to present Japanese music, dance and the traditional tea ceremony.

Yuko Eguchi ’03 visits Bates to present Japanese music, dance and the traditional tea ceremony.

Yuko Eguchi ’03 “was one of the most extraordinary students we’ve ever had,” says music professor Jim Parakilas.

An economics major who switched to music focusing on composition, Eguchi wrote an opera in her native Japanese for her senior thesis.

And she didn’t just compose an opera, Parakilas explains: She scored the work for Western and Asian instruments, trained her chorus of Bates students to sing in Japanese and her Japanese-speaking Bates student actors to sing, and even devised a supertitle system so that audience members who didn’t speak Japanese could follow the story.

“It was the most amazing thing for one person to do,” Parakilas says. “That was quite typical of her. She was just a phenomenon and the opera was very powerful.”

Eguchi, who just defended her doctoral dissertation in ethnomusicology — specifically, geisha songs — at the University of Pittsburgh, returns to Bates this week to visit classes and give two public presentations: a performance of traditional Japanese music and dance on March 3, and a demonstration of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony the following day.

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