*Update* – The registration fee has been lowered by $30 for both categories. The food budget is smaller and T-shirts are optional (a separate link on the http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice). If your group will bring a substantial amount of drums, please let us know so that we can try to lower your fees even further.
1) What exactly is this money going towards?
$25 – Food – 3 meals and 1 reception
$30 – 3 workshops (workshops are 2.5 hours and are likely to have a very small teacher:student ratio)
$5 – Programme booklet with bibliography, workshop information, workshop leader and discussion panelist biographies, concert programme, listing of local groups and contact information
$15 – Souvenir T-Shirt
$5 – Registration packet
$15 – Ticket for concert by On Ensemble, Kaoru Watanabe Ensemble and possibly TAIKOPROJECT
$10 – Stipend for equipment (May be waived in rebate form if group brings substantial amount of equipment)
2) Why is the price so much higher for adults?
Adults are paying a further $30 for the three discussion panels (our sponsors, the Adelphic Educational Fund, are operating on the condition that the sessions are free for students).
$30 will go towards paying for workshop leaders/discussion panelists’ travel and accommodation (the vast majority of this is being sponsored by the University).
We also are charging $20 more for the equipment stipend. This is because we assume that single adults cannot bring their own drums. We are working on trying to ensure that groups that do bring drums have some help because transporting them safely incurs very large costs. If your group is bringing drums then please let me know and we will try to work something out.
3) At the first ECTC in Cornell University, the price was so much lower!
The first ECTC had the good fortune of being the very first and thus workshop leaders were able to help the organizers out a bit more by generously donating their time for the purposes of promoting and supporting this new event.
This time we are operating on a much larger scale with triple the number of distinguished guests, a formal concert by some of the best acts in the country, longer workshops and three discussion panels. The ECTC organizers did an incredible job with the time and resources they had, but we feel the need to promote a culture where musicians are compensated properly for their services.
Apart from that, we cannot expect people to bear their own cost of bringing equipment without which we won’t be able to run the conference, thus the attempt to glean the equipment stipend from registration fees.
This year for your money you are getting longer and smaller workshops, a very high quality concert and the first official gathering of ethnomusicologists who specialize in researching taiko with a T-shirt included to boot, plus cheaper accommodation if your numbers work out.
It is also important to note that even at a third of our budget, the organizers of the inaugural ECTC ended up bearing a substantial amount of the costs out of pocket, and we cannot ask our team to do that for fear it will become standard practice and all organizers in the future will be implicitly expected to inject their own funds.
4) How about the west coast’s Intercollegaite Taiko Invitational? They can keep prices low, why can’t you?
The colleges on the west coast have been holding invitationals for around twenty years if my impressions are accurate. They have a carefully designed system by which they choose years in advance which college will be hosting the event and they are fundraise for approximately three years before the Invitational takes place. The last ECTC was pulled together in a matter of months, and we have only had one year, as will the next hosts until we too gain some more collective experience that will allow more regularity.
The extremely high concentration of taiko instructors on the west coast also makes it so that the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational’s costs in bringing said instructors to the event are much lower.
It is also worth noting that the students organizing those events also routinely put in their own money in order to make sure that their instructors are adequately paid.
5) Why do we need to have instructors from so far away? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just stick to teachers here on the East?
The workshop leaders who will be present at this year’s ETC are of the absolute highest caliber in the country. The east coast leaders are not unrepresented but it seems that with sponsorship coming from the university it is worth it to use this opportunity to bring over people who east coast schools would not normally be able to afford based on their location, whereas teachers from the east coast are much more easily accessible to players.
Wesleyan University is generously giving us thousands of dollars to help pay for the travel and accommodation of these instructors.
6) North American Taiko Conference
This conference has been planned using the NATC as a model. The 2011 NATC offered the same amount of workshops with largely overlapping workshop instructors, a concert and one discussion panel. The registration fee was $500, and accommodation/meals on the Stanford campus cost approximately $400.
Yes, they also had another concert, 800 participants, a Marketplace, dorm-games,
7) Is there any chance at all of lowering the price?
If there is overwhelming demand, we may be able to cut the amount of money being spent on meals, which will mean poorer meals but lower prices. If your group is bringing drums and bearing most of the cost, we may be able to cut out some of your equipment stipend portion on top of giving you some money to help.
We can also make t-shirts optional if that’s what people want.
So please, give us your feedback!