EILEEN S. HO 何愛玲 (she/her) is a CHINESE AMERICAN taiko ARTIST, EDUCATOR and ORGANIZER (living in Ann Arbor and working in Southeast MICHIGAN USA), creating and connecting with community through the empowering ART OF TAIKO drumming which is rooted in Japanese music traditions and is the focus of a growing cultural movement in North America and around the world today.
Eileen's interest in JAPANESE TAIKO DRUMMING was sparked in college while watching a Kodo concert with her PARTNER LARRY AN. Years later they took their four kids to see Taiko in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, igniting an exciting path from her first Taiko class (2001) to her joyful experience as a performing member of Mu Daiko (2005-2009; now Enso Daiko at TaikoArts Midwest). Since then Eileen has travelled to regional and national Taiko conferences, gatherings, and retreats, as well as participated in international online courses and local guest artist workshops, to continue her STUDIES of the art form and develop RELATIONSHIPS with Taiko-affiliated mentors and peers.
Eileen and Larry joined as original members of the performing ensemble Raion Taiko when they moved back to Michigan (2009), and now they teach Taiko together and co-lead the Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) based in Southeast Michigan, SHARING THE JOY OF TAIKO through educational programs and performances. Eileen joined the administrative team at the Taiko Center in 2016 and became the program director in the summer of 2018, helping to coordinate a growing staff of instructors and to schedule classes for youth and adult programs. Her ORGANIZING ROLE AT THE TAIKO CENTER has included work as educational and membership program developer, operations manager, performance group advisor, event coordinator, social media communicator, and digital media specialist.
During the 2020 pandemic shutdown of classes and performance events, Eileen implemented an online program of activities and classes @GLTC-ONLINE to keep students and performing groups connected. Eileen helped envision and build a new Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM that was launched in the Fall of 2020, based on a solidarity economy model, in which a drum circle of members contributing on a sliding scale can support creation and access of programming and resources for all.
Eileen was honored to be part of the 2019 inaugural cohort of the Women and Taiko Fellowship Program which encouraged her to explore how to Play, Dance, and Dream with her family and community through Taiko. She joined the Women and Taiko Mobilization Committee at its inception in December 2019 (volunteering in various roles as presenter, facilitator, social media and website co-creator, event host, and mentor). Working with this movement group, now named TAIKO MARGENS IN SOLIDARITY, EMPOWERS Eileen to step up and step out in her LEADERSHIP and CREATIVITY as a Chinese American woman artist working to deepen personal awareness, build trust in relationships, understand the change and healing that needs to happen, create impact through representation and inclusion, and expand on collective activism for SOCIAL JUSTICE, particularly in the context of the CULTURE and public outreach of our global taiko arts COMMUNITY.
Through her current work as a culture creator and community arts leader, Eileen continues to REIMAGINE, SHARE and ACTIVATE (Wonder, Love and Sing!) the TAIKO ARTS as a way for us to live and play together in a world of abundant PEACE and JOY.
Life before & besides Taiko...
Eileen Sheila Ho (PRONOUNS: she/her/hers)
何愛玲 (CHINESE NAME: Hé Ài Líng)
Chinese American, mother, daughter, sister, partner
Eileen was born to Philip & Grace Ho in Lexington, KENTUCKY (1966) and grew up on the land of the Fox, Peoria, Anishinabewaki and Potawatomi, in the city of Ann Arbor, MICHIGAN, with a few years attending later elementary and middle school at the Willow Run School District while living in Ypsilanti, MI, where she spelled her way to a Washtenaw County championship and 5th place in the State of Michigan Spelling Bee (8th grade) going out on the word "egregious", and eventually graduated salutatorian of her class at Ann Arbor Huron High School (1983).
Eileen likes to collect ROCKS & majored in Geology (1986, B.S. in Geological Sciences, LS&A Honors, University of Michigan). She has a Master's Degree, in SCIENCE! (1988, M.S. in Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan). She also volunteered at the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor (1994-96) in Environmental Health and worked on an inaugural version of their website.
Eileen married her high school sweetheart LARRY AN (1991) and together they homeschooled their four CHILDREN in MINNESOTA. There she sang in the WORLD MUSIC CHOIR for women, Earthtones Chorus led by Peggy Larson, and studied and performed INDONESIAN DANCE & MUSIC with the Sumunar Javanese Dance and Gamelan ensembles (2000-2009, Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota). The family returned to her hometown of Ann Arbor
RAION TAIKO & Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC)
I am grateful to share and dream for world TaikoPeace with our community at the Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) in SE Michigan and my Family An-Ho in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan USA on the native lands of the Bodéwadmiakiwen (Potawatomi)↗ Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ↗ Peoria↗ Meškwahki·aša·hina (Fox)↗ https://usdac.us/nativeland #HonorNativeLand