"Celebrate with us our community's rich cultural heritage. The International Festival has become Modesto's premier free family festival. It is the region's largest cultural heritage celebration," according to an advertisement in The Modesto Bee. Modesto's annual International Festival held on October fourth and fifth this year at Graceada Park was exactly as the newspaper advertised. With more than fifty cultural groups represented at the event, there was more than enough musical performances to listen to, an abundance of dance and theatrical performances to watch, and a never-ending selection of traditional cultural cuisines. However, the performing arts dominated the entertainment throughout both days. The International Festival allowed me to first-handedly visualize the diversity among our community.
Music can be considered the "art of sound," and when factoring the several sounds of our community, music can be considered an incredibly dynamic art form. Throughout the day on Saturday, I was able to experience numerous types of music and the components that bring music together. For example, the Mariachi Cali consisted of instrumental and vocal sounds. The tone, pitch, color, and dynamics of the music were all extremely unique when compared to another type of music such as rock and alternative. Several cultures were represented by the music art form including Mexican, Japanese, Cajun, and American pop to name a few. No matter what type of music was played, each sound had its own unique melody and rhythm. Each sound also had their own form and separate instruments by which the song was delivered. I especially enjoyed the Stockton Bukkyo Taiko group which is a Japanese taiko drum group. Coming from Japanese heritage, surprisingly enough, this was the first time that I had experienced any sort of live Japanese cultural music. The musicians put their whole bodies into playing the drum and made the performance very powerful and thrilling.