As soon as you walk through the doors of California’s State Capitol, you begin to experience California’s rich history. The 19th-century granite building located in the heart of downtown Sacramento is where the past, present, and future of California come together. This majestic building is home to the California Legislature, a public museum, and a lush garden surrounding the outside. While many visitors come to simply experience the beauty of the building and learn about the history of California, a select group of Japanese CHI exchange students came to sing, as part of the Capitol’s Christmas program.
Ibaraki Christian High School is located in Hitachi, on Japan’s eastern coast about an hour’s drive north of Tokyo. A group representing the school visits the Sacramento area each December; 2018 marks their eleventh straight year. Students travel with their teachers and school principal Randall Voss, who is American born and created this program. The school has made their visit a vital part of their international studies curriculum.
This year, Ibaraki Christian High School brought 109 students and 8 teachers with them. Students stayed with host families in Yuba City, Sacramento, Lodi and Roseville for five days. In addition to singing at the State Capitol, they visited local high schools, shared their culture with both children and retired adults, toured Sacramento and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
This is always an amazing cultural experience for our Japanese friends as well as the Americans they meet. Enjoy their performance in the California State Capitol’s 2018 Christmas program: