Sharon Elementary students and staff participated in a unique, educational experience on November 2 as Taiko drummer Eric “The Fish” Paton visited the school. The visit was made possible through a grant by The Highland Foundation. All students attended a school assembly and then took part in workshops during their music classes. From the dynamic style of taiko drumming of Japan to the infectious rhythms of samba from Brazil, Paton infused excitement and interaction into his guest residency at Sharon Elementary. Paton actively engaged students and teachers as they explored the language, history and culture of music from around the world. Each workshop incorporated a wide variety of information and met the fine arts music content standard for: Historical, Cultural and Social Contexts and Creative Expression and Communication.
Paton grew up in Tokyo, Japan where he attended a Nishigahara elementary school and the Nishimachi International School representing 34 nationalities. He attended Capital University, Bexley, OH, and graduated with a music performance degree in 1989. Paton has been a member of the Capital University faculty since 1990, where he has taught percussion, conducted the Concert Percussion Ensemble, and founded the Ethnic Percussion Ensemble, a student performance ensemble that features the music of Cuba, Haiti, and Japan. Paton continues to manage and perform with Yumbambe Salsa Jazz and is a former member of Arnett Howard's Creole Funk Band. Additionally, he has performed with national and international artists like Aretha Franklin, Sir Roland Hannah, Bobby Shew, and Milano La Scala (Italian National Opera).