Japan is known for its dedication to excellence, and the Kyoto Tachibana Senior High School Band is no exception, as the group did an absolutely jaw-dropping street performance in their hometown. The young musicians not only nail a complex arrangement of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” but also do it while pulling off a fleet-footed dance and marching down the street.
As any musician knows, dancing while playing an instrument and doing both well is incredibly difficult and takes a ridiculous amount of practice. The students, who were playing at the Kyoto Rose Parade, clearly enjoy performing and play with big smiles on their dials, making the whole performance a feel-good affair. Check out the show below.
Another factor that makes the parade impressive is that there’s at least 50 musicians performing across the 27-minute march. It’s such a huge achievement by the young musicians to get everyone so in sync and playing at a full professional level for such a long, demanding performance. Even the players holding the huge tubas and heavy bass drums jump up and down with the others without missing a beat.
The band does a number of songs throughout their appearance, each with its own unique and adorable dances. It’s worth checking out the different songs as the dances continue to develop in complexity throughout the performance. The band’s abilities are well known around the world, as they also did another impressive performance at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which you can check out below.
The Kyoto Tachibana SHS Band’s performances have created quite a stir online, with the Kyoto appearance attracting 48 million views on YouTube. The band has quite a history with the Kyoto Rose Parade, having appeared twice previously. They are currently in training for a possible appearance in 2025. The fact that they registered their interest in playing at the 2025 event back in 2022 will tell you how much preparation goes into each of these performances.
Fans on YouTube heaped praise on the band for their skillful display, adding comments like “I think people who don’t play instruments don’t understand how athletic this actually is. Usually with wind instruments, you put all your breath into playing; they’re dancing while still playing, and also without sheet music, so they had to memorize everything. This is really, really impressive.”
Another eagle-eyed commenter pointed out that the flute player in the last row dances with a prosthetic leg. You can see her perform the choreography flawlessly at 12:58 in the video. The commenter gushed, “I was blown away by her determination and her spirit. It made my smile go off the charts. This group has unbelievable talent, discipline, dedication, and energy.”
The band has attracted an online following around the world, with several unofficial English fan pages dedicated to their music. The Kyoto Tachibana SHS Band Unofficial Fan Blog reported that the group is fondly nicknamed the Orange Devils because of their bright orange uniforms and tendency to win band competitions.