On September 16th we were pleased to welcome a special alumna back to campus. May Hashimoto graduated from ASIJ in 2007 and is now a well-known Japanese recording artist under the stage name May J. After her recording debut in 2006, May J. has become increasingly popular in Japan for her powerful voice. Recently gaining recognition for singing the end roll version of “Let It Go” in Disney’s Japanese release of the animated film Frozen, she has performed the song in both Japanese and English on a variety of TV programs and live events.
Her visit to campus was part of the filming of an NHK TV special about her life story. May J. met with the students in our Vocal Jazz Ensemble (VJE), the same group that she performed in when she was an ASIJ student. They performed Frank Sinatra’s “Fly me to the Moon,” together which was one of the songs May J. performed with VJE during their first live show. She gave students advice about how to make a song your own and explained her process for preparing for performances. May J. expressed her gratitude to High School music teacher Brent Huber who had mentored her, and he had a fun time showing her old videos of her performing at ASIJ as a student and reminiscing. Teacher and former student then had a chance to perform together as Mr. Huber accompanied her on guitar for a rendition of Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.”