Sayonara! My itinerary for Japan.

Monday, August 24, 9:00 pm

I am almost too excited to sleep!  My journey to Japan begins in the morning and the basic itinerary is below, but first I want to make sure to acknowledge a friend and fellow Bethany alum who has helped me tremendously in making this journey.

Tom Nelson lived and worked in Japan for many years and has met with me weekly all summer to help me understand customs and make plans for my trip. His help and friendship has been invaluable.  Cheers, Tom!



August 25 – 29 (Tokyo)

After connections in Dallas and San Diego I will be on my way to Tokyo.  The easiest way to explain it is this:  I leave Wichita at 5 AM on Tuesday and arrive in Tokyo at  5 PM on Wednesday!  Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of Kansas, so when it is Noon in Lindsborg it is 2 am in Tokyo.

I am very lucky to have made contacts with important people from Japan Lutheran College and Japan Lutheran Seminary in Tokyo (Mitaka).  Dr. Ishii (President of JLC) and Dr. Eto (President of the Seminary) have arranged for me to stay in the guest house on the campus the two institutions share.  I am lucky to have a meeting set with these two important men and I look forward to speaking with them about Bethany College.


I am also extremely excited to be invited to hear and work with the college choir, under the direction of Watanabe-sensei.


They are currently at a choir retreat in Kawasaki-City, where I will travel on either Thursday or Friday to hear the choir.  I only regret I will not be able to attend their concert on August 30, which will include, among other works, Bach’s Jesu, Meine Freude and Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus.  I am excited to hear them rehearse these works.  If you’re in Tokyo this Sunday check them out!


August 29 – Sept 2 (Kumamoto)

After three days in Tokyo at the Seminary and College (and hopefully some sightseeing!) I will load up my baggage and fly to Kumamoto.



Kumamoto is home to Kyushu Lutheran College.  The college is especially important to Bethany College because an alum (Tom Nelson) taught in Kumamoto for more than 10 years and another alum, Kevin Axton, is currently employed there.  Kevin was an RA when I was a freshman living in Deere Hall and was always a favorite of the residents.  I am excited that Kevin will pick me up at the airport and show me around Kumamoto.  While there I will also visit Goshi Church, where Tom Nelson was a member for many years.  I look forward to this visit and hope to meet my new friend, Yumi Yoshimoto, a former student of Tom’s.


She has been extremely helpful in my preparation for this trip because anytime we needed to translate something into Japanese she was willing to do so.  For example, business cards have a specific design that Yoshimoto-san helped me develop in order to share with my new friends in Japan.


Another highlight of my time in Kumamoto will be meeting with Dr. Naohiro Kiyoshige, President of Kyushu Lutheran College, as well as Matsumoto-sensei to discuss the possibility of a cross-cultural practicum between Bethany College and Kyushu Lutheran College.  I am thankful to Kevin for helping set this up! Rockar Stockar!

September 2 – 3 (Hiroshima and Miyajima)

This is the only leg of the trip that has not been planned to the minute!  My expectation is to visit the Peace Museum in Hiroshima and find a hotel nearby.  It was almost exactly 70 years ago that the bomb was dropped there.

September 3-5 (Kyoto)

Last December I had the opportunity to invite my friend and colleague, Dr. Andrew Homburg (BC 98′) to be a guest clinician for Bethany College’s “Real Men Sing” festival.  He had the great idea to survey some of the guys at the festival (more than 300 of them attended) about their experience.  Our intention was to write a paper for publication.  Well, Dr. Homburg is a “go-getter” and he contacted me to say, “what if we submitted this paper to a conference in Japan?”  Of course I agreed.  He mentioned we would have a better shot at being accepted to the International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) if we submitted a proposal to present a symposium as well (three 25 minute sessions presented by three people with a similar idea).  Well, Andrew found another outstanding colleague, Dr. Tim Farrell, Chair of Music at University of Nebraska-Kearny and we came up with the topic of The use of Multiple Modes of Learning in music.

5522 Farrell

For example, my session was to be about how I use different methods to help the Bethany Oratorio Society become better musicians (dancing, swaying, bouncing basketballs, etc. . . ).  I honestly never thought we would be accepted. I mean the ISPS is run jointly by the faculties of Ryukoku University in Japan and the Royal College or Music in London.  Why would they accept three rubes from the midwest (sorry Andrew and Tim)?  Well, they did.  However, I was in a tight spot because I didn’t feel comfortable using Bethany College’s money to pay for this prestigious trip.  So, I wasn’t going to go.  Then a Bethany alum heard about my plans and decided the trip was too important and needed to happen. Long story short, Bethany College will benefit greatly from this trip but will not have to spend a dime!  Again, I say ROCKAR STOCKAR!

All of this is to say that from September 3-5 I will be joining my colleagues at The International Symposium on Performance Science in Kyoto, Japan as a contributing member.

September 5-6 (Tokyo?)

After our presentation at the ISPS in Kyoto around noon local time, Dr. Homburg, Dr. Farrell and I may travel to Tokyo to stay the night before our flights home later that day.  Nothing has been planned in stone just yet but I look forward to spending time with both of them.  We have discussed trying out one of the “capsule” hotels.  I’m not sure how that will work for me 🙂

This website is where I will be blogging my journey.  I hope you will follow and leave comments here.  I can be contacted directly through email at or via Skype where my account is BcChoirDoc

Sayonara until Tokyo!




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