Member Spotlight: Naomi Okumura Hobbs

Naomi-Red-DressBorn and reared in Tokyo, Japan, I am a licensed architect, who taught at the Interior Design School there for five years.

My lifelong passion has always been music. I started taking piano lessons when I was four years old. After earning my degree in music at the Musashino Music University in Tokyo, I joined the faculty and taught there for the next ten years.  In 1991, I founded the performing group, “Melody Tree”. I derive great pleasure in organizing concerts in which piano teachers and amateur musicians have an opportunity to perform together.  In 1998, it was my privilege to perform Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra.

I came to San Diego in 1999 and met my husband in 2007 while I was the music/choir director of the Pioneer Ocean View United Church of Christ; a position I held for five years. Since its inception in 2003, I have been the Director and Conductor of the San Diego Japanese Chorus. Musical life brings me great joy, but always comes second to my first passion: being Steve’s wife!

I am presently teaching piano at the San Diego Community College of Continuing Education.  I also continue to perform throughout the San Diego area as a member of the piano duo, “Piano for Two”.  As a hobby, I direct and conduct a chorus and arrange their music pieces.

In November 2012, it was truly a dream come true to win first prize in the Professional Division of the 7th International Piano Competition in Mexicali, Mexico.

This past December, I took great delight in helping to organize AmateurPianists’ first Annual Holiday Potluck, as well as providing musical entertainment for our members as we all came together that day to share our mutual passion for music.

Not long after that recital, I left for a long holiday in Tokyo to visit my son, Ryo, who lives and works there. We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas together.

It was my genuine pleasure to join the Board of Directors for AmateurPianists in 2013. I look forward to meeting you at our next recital!

Have an interesting story to share about your journey in music?  Click here to send us an email, and you can be featured in an upcoming Member Spotlight!