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Toyohashi Tech Music Club: Top of the popularity charts

The Toyohashi Tech Pop Music Club has approximately 120 members and is the university’s most popular student club. The members of the club form bands from many musical flavors of popular music. Japanese, American, and U.K. rock music is the most popular, with student groups covering bands including the Beatles, Queen, Oasis, Led Zeppelin, and Bump of Chicken.

“We meet once a week in the Student’s Room to discuss practice sessions and sort out performance schedules,” explains club leader Kota Shomura, a third year student studying mechanical engineering. “With about 50 of us attending, we split and form bands to practice at different times throughout the day, each band usually getting about 90 minutes.”

With so many members and differing personalities, it’s difficult managing them all, Shomura admits. So he has a support team of ten experienced members to help him deal with the schedules.

Shomura plays lead guitar, which he began learning four years ago at his technical high school. “The club has its own set of drums and a keyboard, as well as amps and microphones,” he says. “We buy all the other instruments.” Prices vary, but can reach as high as 100,000 yen so some members opt to buy used instruments.

The club holds seven or eight live performances a year in the Common Room on campus. Members set up the stage, arrange the lightening and connect the sound and mixing equipment. Members of the club are joined by other students at the performances. Some bands also play live in a small concert hall in Toyohashi city and in coffee shops in the town. The school festival is another place where they perform live and demonstrate their skills to attract new members and fans.

With so many members enjoying sharing a common interest, the club looks set to stay top of the popularity charts for quite some time.