2011 JASI Annual Gala
Stories from Space and Japan’s Invincible Spirit
More than four hundred guests from all corners of the state and the Midwest attended the 2011 JASI Annual Gala! Thank you to all of our sponsors, speakers, guests, and volunteers who made this year's event one of the best Galas ever.
Attendees enjoyed networking during the Patrons' Reception and the General Reception before the start of the dinner and program.
JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata was superb as the keynote speaker. His presentation was extraordinary – informative, entertaining, and often times humorous. All in attendance gained a greater understanding of Japan’s space program, in particular the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”; what life is like in orbit; the importance of international cooperation and the fact that cultural considerations exist even in space.
Dr. Wakata’s presentation was complemented by the Genki Band from Columbus, a group of young musicians who made their debut at the “We Pray For Japan” earthquake relief event in early May. The Genki Band also had a guest trombone accompanist in Consul General George Hisaeda, who performed a solo in “Sunny Side of the Street”, a special highlight of the evening. The evening concluded with a short performance by an ensemble orchestra conducted by Hidetaka Niiyama featuring a space-themed medley (Also Sprach Zarathustra, Blue Danube Waltz, and V. Jupiter from The Planets).
Genki Band with Dr. Wakata.