2015-2016 Members



Senryu Taiko 2015-2016


Generation 14
Alex Oakland


Alexander Oakland
Core Member
Year in taiko: 5th
Major: General Geology

Why taiko?
Honestly, there is no better way to explain it other than I just have a lot of fun doing it. Not to mention it’s a good stress relief and a good workout.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Being in Senryu has helped me grow as a person in ways that would never have been achievable without being in it. It has helped me mature and improve many flawed aspects of myself, and it has been probably the most important part of college for me.



Jason Phan
Performance Director
Year in taiko: 4th
Major: Biochemistry

Why taiko?
In my life, I always had a passion for music, especially drumming. Coming to UCR, I was able to find Taiko and it has allowed me to express my passion in a new way.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu Taiko has allowed me to expand my musical talents and make some amazing friends.


Katherine Morano
Core Member
Year in taiko: 4th
Major: Japanese

Why taiko?
My grandmother has always loved Taiko, and I grew up watching Kishin Daiko perform multiple times a year. As a little girl, I would feel the drum beats in my gut and I always knew I wanted to play too. I grew up loving the art form so much; being able to be a part of it now brings me back to my childhood.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu has given me so many wonderful memories in the short time that I’ve been in the group. Being so close and comfortable with the members has given me a lot more confidence in being myself. Although I still get nervous performing, I’ve learned to put myself out there. I’m excited to see what the future has for us!


TJ Kim
Practice Director
Year in taiko: 4th
Major: Statistics

Why taiko?
At first, to see what my sister loved about Taiko. Now, because I understand that love of Taiko.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
This group gave me a family that let’s me be as crazy as I want. I love it.



Nathan Newberry
Core Member
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Creative Writing & Education

Why taiko?
I originally joined with my friend for fun, and it’s been a blast ever since!

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Being in Taiko is like being part of a big family, one that likes to make a lot of noise. I’ve made friends here that I’d never have met otherwise. It has only been a quarter and a half, but already we’ve made so many memories. I can’t wait to have more fun times performing with everyone.


Anselm Krause
Core Member
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Geology

Why taiko?
To me, Taiko is a wonderful art form that brings powerful energy to the musician and the audience. It is confidence inspiring and fun to play.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu has brought me a warm family of fun and smart individuals from various backgrounds. It humbles me to play with my fellow drummers and also to learn from them. Also, Senryu has helped me become a better musician and appreciate other forms of music and art that are not traditional in western society.


Donna Feria
Equipment Manager
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Psychology

Why taiko?
Entering college I didn’t even know taiko existed. I just happen to have a friend from high school who was in Senryu and things happened from there. Through taiko I have made many friends and I even consider them my second family. Taiko drumming is challenging but it is very fun and I’m so happy to be part of Senryu taiko.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
I am a very shy, quiet person and at first I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with certain expectation. I was afraid of failure but taiko has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me comfortable to messing up in order to learn. I have begun to feel confidence in my actions and hope to continue to grow in Senryu Taiko.


William Horner
Core Member
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Chemistry

Why taiko?
It’s like all verb, ya know?!

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Having a science major involves a lot of inputs and outputs, numbers and functions, and it can sometimes feel like I’m slowly turning into a robot. Taiko really helps to break that feeling, shatter it to pieces, and that’s really helped me to be more engaged in life.


Jason Junio
President
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Biochemistry

Why taiko?
I always had an interest for both music and the Japanese culture, and after seeing a couple taiko performances with my brother when I was really young, I was extremely motivated to join Senryu especially. The sound of the drums, the festivity that the performers leave in the atmosphere, and most of all, the culture behind the art itself collectively motivate me to learn, play, and perform taiko.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu has helped me open up and become more comfortable with who I am. Before college, I always acted a certain way to fit with a certain group, but after noticing how every member of Senryu has their own unique personality and seeing how comfortable they were with who they are, I was motivated to be more outgoing with who I am on the inside. I’ve been a more social, creative, responsible, and most of all happier person due to this, both inside Senryu and outside, and it’s all thanks to making the decision to come out of my shell and show all my true colors around such a great group of individuals, and it’s thanks to them for accepting me for all that I am.


Zak Najmi
Core Member
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Material Science & Engineering

Why taiko?
I saw Senryu perform during Block Party and thought it was really cool.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu is an outlet for stress relief, creativity, and meeting new people. It has helped me become more confident in myself and made me a better person.


Ashton Culbertson
Core Member
Year in taiko: 3rd
Major: Music Composition

Why taiko?
I’m a percussionist and, unfortunately, UCR does not have a percussion ensemble. So, instead, I came across Taiko, the next best thing. Now…. it IS the best thing.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
It has opened up a whole new set of opportunities for me as a music composer, helping me progress towards my overall goal of writing music for film and television. Plus, being in Senryu Taiko has helped me connect with better people, than if I wasn’t in it.



Janzen Zapanta Alejo
Costume Manager
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Linguistics and Anthropology Double Major

Why taiko?
Music has always been important to me, but percussion was something I never explored. New school, new adventure!

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
I came for the friends and I stay for the family. Without them I don’t know where I’d be today.


Nicholli Lay
Core Member
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Mathematics

Why taiko?
I love how taiko can look and sound intense, but be fun at the same time.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu helped me expand my social circle as well as helped me become more outgoing.


Saburo Nakano
Treasurer
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Business Informatics

Why taiko?
Every summer I go to Japan and watch taiko performances near the area. As a fan of percussion instrument, I was always fascinated by the sound of the drum and the body movements of the performers. Taiko is an art form that bringswonderful energy to not only the performesr but also to the audience.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
As an individual, Senryu has introduced me to so many warm, wonderful people. All of these new people I met are like family to me now. They help me develop as an individual and as a performer. They help me gain confidence and encourage me to be more expressive. For me practice at Senryu is never a tiring work, it’s an exciting day because I get to learn something new and have been able to meet these wonderful people.


Chelsey Calingo
Historian
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Computational Mathematics

Why taiko?
I realized too late in high school that I should have been a percussionist, but then I discovered taiko and I couldn’t be happier.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
I would say Senryu has made me want to actually get out there and try new things on campus. Especially as a commuter for 4 years at UCR, it’s tough to become involved around campus. I’ve also been more reserved in the past, but being surrounded by people who are like me and have the same interests has helped me come out of my shell more. Senryu feels more like a family than a club and I’m really glad that I joined.


Tanya Lieu
Core Member
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Global Studies, English double major

Why taiko?
Taiko on a purely aesthetic level physically resonates within me and it sounds like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. In addition, I love how it seamlessly integrates teamwork and individuality with each song. The culture behind taiko in terms of traditionalism and progressivism also interests me. It’s just awesome!

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu greatly increased my confidence levels in terms of carrying myself as an individual and also with performance skills. Everyone in Senryu exemplifies diversity and with such a social dynamic, I feel more ready to tackle anything with the help and encouragement of everyone around me. I appreciate everyone so much for being themselves!


Kenyatta Joseph
Core Member
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Psychology

Why taiko?
Because it’s something I’ve never regretted. Taiko is filled with many loving people and the bonds are extremely strong. It’s not just a family, it’s a safe haven. I like it because it’s a place where I can try to improve and persevere. It encourages me to move forward in life;to try harder.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
It’s made me the type of person who can take chances and move forward in life. I feel like I’ve become a stronger person.I could go on all day;I could make a list of things Taiko has done for me, but even that wouldn’t even be half of it.


Kenny Utrapiromsuk
Core Member
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Biology

Why taiko?
I became interested in Taiko since Orientation because it was something new and enjoyable to experience.

How has Senryu Taiko affected you as an individual?
Senryu Taiko has allowed me to be more open and have an outlet to be with people who share the same interests. It’s letting me have a way of being able to make the most of my college experience and be able to not have a boring life of just going to class.


Brian Chu
Core Member
Year in taiko: 2nd
Major: Computer Engineer

Why taiko?
There are many reasons why I gravitated toward taiko. Thinking back, I remember during lunch at Dilworth elementary there was this optional percussion class where we played with drums all over the world. I had a blast. I totally forgot about this but maybe it played a subconscious role in me loving taiko. However the the main reason I joined taiko. Well there are two reasons. The first reason is the sound of taiko. It is so powerful and primal. The second reason is that it’s just fun.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Senryu has allowed me to be more involved in the community. Also, because of senryu I have met a lot of cool people and have become a more sociable person.



Ethan Botton
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Economics

Why taiko?
I was mesmerized by the energy and excitement of Taiko, it’s something that has been entirely new and fun for me.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Senryu has given me a community here at UCR. I’ve broken out of my comfort zone and now I can express myself through the music we play.


Jasper Lin
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Biology

Why taiko?
I like the rush of adrenaline in the middle of an intense song as the beats and yells vibrate pretty much everything around the sound radius of the drum.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Senryu has definitely shown me the many diversities of people that can be connected through energetic music, and thus made me into a more open minded person, capable of recognizing the many characteristics people have to offer.


Victoria Do
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Environmental Engineering

Why taiko?
I’ve seen taiko performances from Senryu while in high school, which really sparked an interest in me joining! I just loved how engaging and unique taiko was.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
I came into taiko not knowing how big of an impact it would leave on me. I met an amazing group of people who’ve done a lot more than to just teach me how to play taiko. I can say that I’m willing to try new things, and that I’ve become less afraid to be outgoing and to stay true to who I am. I’m also more involved than I would have been if it wasn’t for Senryu, especially as a commuter. I’m a much happier person and I’m really grateful for being a part of something great.


Roel Zamora
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Environmental Science

Why taiko?
I chose to be a part of Senryu Taiko because I have always had a passion for percussion. I decided to attend a general meeting in hopes of expanding my knowledge and diversity of multiple percussive styles, and I found myself engulfed within the beauty and immense power this performing art style has to offer. This powerful art can resonate entire venues with its intense volumes, giant visuals, and many emotional factors that will always keep me breathless.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Senryu has defined my college experience. When I began as a college student, I found it very difficult to make new friends transitioning into this new and very busy lifestyle. I am extraordinarily grateful for Senryu Taiko for accepting me into this warm-hearted family because I can’t imagine my college experience without it.
Senryu has taught me to try new things, because if I never built the courage of attending that first general meeting, I would have never been fortunate enough of being a part of this taiko community. Senryu has taught me to be open-minded. From fascinating Japanese culture and traditions to new aspects of drumming, I have learned to be open to other styles of doing and thinking. Senryu has taught me to enjoy myself, because these little things within Senryu Taiko will be the memories that I will never forget.


Lydia Ko
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Psychology

Why taiko?
I had a few friends who were already a part of Senryu, but I didn’t know just how impressive taiko looked or sounded until I watched their spring concert. After that, I garnered a little bit of interest and with a slight push from those friends, I ended up attending workshops and eventually trying out and now I’m actually a part of it! I used to perform a lot in high school too, so joining Senryu brings back the part of student life that I really missed.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
I never imagined I’d do something like taiko, but Senryu has definitely helped me see how culturally profound and just plain fun it is. Of course, the other members are a huge part of the reason why I enjoy it so much–we’re all like veins and arteries pulsing with the same heartbeat resonating from the heart that is taiko. Cheesiness aside, I really do love Senryu and I’m excited for future performances with everyone~


Raymond Ricafort
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Bioengineering

Why taiko?
I needed something to do for fun at UCR and nothing enticed me more than taiko. It’s powerful. It’s intense. It was something I wanted to be a part of ever since I started watching videos of other collegiate taiko groups. I immediately knew that this is what I wanted to do extracurricularly during my college years.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
To experience it first hand was nothing compared to watching it on the computer screen, and to experience it as a player behind the bachi and chu, that was a life changing moment. The musical performance arts were something I never expected to get into. But to be a part of Senryu Taiko completes me. We all share a common interest of passionate rhythms and this just fuels my drive to play taiko for many more years to come.


Deanna Timmons
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Japanese Languages and Literatures

Why taiko?
Since I’ve been doing something musically for the majority of my life, whether it was concert band or marching band, it makes sense that I would be interested in taiko. Although I’ve never played a percussion instrument before, seeing this group perform gave me the courage to give it a shot!

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Joining Senryu has made me a better performer overall because of how different and demanding it is compared to what I’ve done in the past. Performing with this group is always super fun and intense, I love every minute of it!


Jang-Shing Enoch Lin
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Computer Science

Why taiko?
I choose taiko because I’ve seen it a lot growing up and it looked really fun. Also i wanted to do a school club and this seemed like a really fun one to be part of.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Senryu affected me a lot because I got to meet a lot of people and make some really great friends. I doubt I would be able to meet these people without them being and learning in the club with me.


Vanessa Luu
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Biochemistry

Why taiko?
The energy I felt from the group first drew me into taiko. When I first entered UCR, I wanted to try something completely out of the ordinary and found myself really enjoying my time with the group. I have always been interested in Japanese culture for a majority of my life and I found that taiko was a good way to express myself in a new way and immerse myself in the Japanese art form.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Joining taiko helped me to create many new friendships forming a close circle where I can be as weird and open as I want without judgment. It has helped me to improve my self-confidence and makes staying on campus much more enjoyable.


Vivian Nguyen
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Neuroscience

Why taiko?
I’ve always wanted to learn a variety of different instruments, and taiko was a great opportunity to learn a percussion instrument.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Despite having our own unique personalities, everyone in Senryu is able to come together like a close-knit family. With these people, I’m able to not only have fun in university, but am able to have people I can confide in as well. Senryu has also opened new acquaintances and bonds for me!


Francesca Cao
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Chemistry

Why taiko?
I joined on a whim because I figured why not, so I gave it a try. It turned out I became immediately inspired by the art form and developed a passion for taiko.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
I’ve made so many friends and gained so many experiences in Senryu. I am so grateful for everything that had happened this past year, and I hope to make even more amazing memories with Senryu in the future.


Alyssa Kumashiro
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Undeclared

Why taiko?
When I was younger, I occasionally watched taiko performances at local festivals and every time it drew me to the energy they produced. I also thought that it’d be a fun activity to keep me fit and buff.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Senryu introduced me to so many new people and experiences. It also combined my passion for dancing and music into one. I honestly don’t know what else I’d be doing if it weren’t for all of people I met because of the group.


Jacqueline Noborikawa
Core Member
Year in taiko: 1st
Major: Biology

Why taiko?
Since middle school, I’ve seen taiko performances at festivals and have always wanted to try. It seemed like a lot of fun and a cool way to get in touch with my heritage. I’ve wanted to join Senryu since my first year, but I’ve always had a time conflict. After taking taiko ensemble last year I fell in love with the art and the music therapy it provides. With some convincing from a current member at that time, I decided to just go for it my final year at UCR.

How has Senryu affected you as an individual?
Practices have definitely made me aware of muscles I forgot about for a while. Despite how busy things can get and how I’ve missed out on a lot of social events, I’ve gained many new bonds from Senryu. I have been able to experience everything I wanted from the group and more.