Never Miss a Single Step
Posted On January 3, 2018
DOWNEY — When the featured musician stepped forward during a brief performance Dec. 27 at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, everyone could see she was unique, but few knew just how special she is.
The Kyoto Tachibana High School marching band made a brief appearance, ahead of their scheduled performance in Monday’s Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. As the band tore into a thunderous rendition of Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing,” flutist Hitomi Kanamaru stepped up and launched herself into a Lindy Hop dance, all while continuing to play.
Her acrobatic moves were all the more inspiring considering the fact that Kanamaru was born without the lower portion of her left leg.
“At first, it was difficult to try marching and dancing, since I don’t have the left, so it was suggested that I exaggerate the movements on my right leg, and it’s worked out,” she said.
On Jan. 2, the band performed a charity concert in La Palma at the Kennedy High School Performance Arts Center, with donations set to benefit schools in the Houston area severely affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo
Japanese student with prosthetic leg to perform with Rose Parade marching band
By JASON HENRY | email@example.com | Pasadena Star News
PUBLISHED: December 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm | UPDATED: December 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm
Nearly 200 Japanese students from Kyoto Tachibana High School will get a chance to perform in the Rose Parade this year, including one student with a prosthetic leg who will march the entire 5 1/2-mile route.
Hitomi Kanamaru, a senior at the high school, was born missing part of her leg, but she refused to let that stop her from performing in the marching band, according to Emiko Christensen, the U.S. program director for the Green Band Association, which has brought Japanese high school bands to the Rose Parade for the last decade.
Don’t be surprised if it’s hard to pick Kanamaru out of the crowd; she’s worked hard to perfect her performance, Christensen said in an email. The students practice about four hours a day, Monday through Friday, Christensen said.
It’s the second year the 192-member Koyoto Tachibana High band has appeared at the Rose Bowl. The students will begin practicing in the parking lot at Angels Stadium in Anaheim the day after Christmas and continue every day until the Rose Parade. On Jan. 2, they will perform a charity benefit concert at the Kennedy High School Performance Arts Center in La Palma to raise money for schools impacted by this year’s hurricanes.