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"The 35th International Whistlers Convention 2008 in Japan"

(IWC2008) Information

IWC 2008 Whistlers' Voice

It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you whistlers from around the world. These stars of the whistling world have shared a view of how music makes their lives more meaningful.
Behold! These are some of the STARS of our approaching IWC2008 in Japan!
These introductions will make the upcoming concert in July more appreciated.

IWC 2008 Project Leader
Ryosuke Takeuchi

Mitch Hider

I am honored and very excited to be going to the International Whistler's Convention in Ushiku as Master of Ceremonies, teacher of the School for Whistlers, and performer in the concerts.

We will be there from many countries, but on-stage, we will be speaking the same musical language! Whistling is truly universal music. Where there are birds in the world, there are human whistlers. Our music is the sound of the birds, set to popular, classical, and cultural forms and style.

I like to think of whistling as a "holiday for lips," which we can all celebrate instantly with a pucker and melodic puff. Whistling is a wordless, windy aria, an eloquent, airy air. It can also be silly, sweet, jazzy, or sad. I love to whistle!

In the past 30 years, I have been to whistling contests in America and Canada, but this year's contest in Japan will be, for me, a very "international" gathering of the flock. It will be a joy to again see and hear talented whistlers I have met from Japan, America, Europe, Canada, and elsewhere, and I look forward to meeting new whistlers.

To the organizers and hosts of "Kokusai Kuchibue Taikai", I say: "Domo arigato."

Sincerely, Mitch Hider
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.


Mr. Hider was international whistling champion in 1982, at Carson City, Nevada. He's in the National Whistlers Hall of Fame, and once did a duet with Bertha the harmonica-playing elephant.

Geert Chatrou
Dear reader,

Wow, it is so great that the Japanese whistlers of the JWF are taking the challenge to organize this!
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to all of Japan by way of the IWC.

My name is Geert Chatrou from The Netherlands and in 2004 and 2005 I won first price at the IWC held in Louisburg (NC) USA.
Since 2004 I have performed in over 150 concerts in The Netherlands  and in Europe, and also Canada and USA.
Most frequently I whistled in the classical style with symphonic orchestras, and string quartets. There were also occasions when the music was Jazz!

I have never performed in Asia and am looking forward to coming to Japan in July. Knowing two excellent whistlers from the board of directors. It will be so nice to see them again. Such a good organization as the Japan Whistlers' Federation inspires me with complete confidence that this July event will be a complete success.

When you hear that whistling will be presented as an art, most people will lift their eyebrows and think it will be some kind of circus act.
Come and visit and you will discover it is not intended to be that kind of entertainment.
The music performed will be attractive and presented in a way you have never experienced before!

I am so much looking forward to coming to Japan, and wish the IWC all the best luck in showing that Japan's presentation will be a great happening.

If you want to hear more from me, please visit www.geertchatrou.com

Best regards,


Video clip link:
Badinerie, last movement from 2nd suite J.S.Bach

Der Holle Rache, from Opera Die Zauberflote, W.A. Mozart

Hungarian Dance nr. 5, J. Brahms

Recorder Concerto first movementin C-moll, A.Vivaldi

Tormod Borgen Rogne
I am Tormod Borgen Rogne, also known as "Whistler of Norway." My website is www.whistlerofnorway.no
Have been professional whistler the last 10 years, but started to whistle at the age of six years. Performed all over Norway, been on live performances in radio and TV quite a number of times. Since 2002 I have been six times in USA, doing concerts in five states; Tenneessee, Texas, North-Dakota, Minnesota and North-Carolina. April 2003 performed LIVE in 50 states in USA, for the whole Country, on Public Radio on Garrison Keillor's programm "A Prairie Home Companion", for about 10-20 million people.

I have made four CD's, and am now preparing my fifth album, the best one, I am sure, and it will contain Popluar-Classical songs, and available in many different countries all over the world within May/June 2008.

Took part in the IWC in Louisburg, North-Carolina, april 2007, and won the second price in the Popular Class. Met many professional whistlers from the whole world, from 12 different countries. Among the participants were most of them from USA and Japan, and they won also the best prices. The male champion comes from New Orleans, but the female comes from Japan, and I was so lucky that I whistled a duet with her in one of Japan's biggest radio stations "J-WAVE" September 25th 2007, on the programm "Good Morning Tokyo".

I am impressed by the high level of the Japanese whistlers, and am very happy that the JWF will be IWC summer 2008, when the convention will be held in Japan. In September 2007 my Japanese whistler friends invited me to Japan and Tokyo for two concerts and this radio performance. It wasn't just a great experience for me coming to Japan, but the main thing is that I've become so many good Japanese friends now, to whom I appreciate very much. Nice people in a very nice Country. What I have seen I can truly say; I love Japan!

I am looking forward to IWC in July 2008, and will expect of myself that I shall challenge the world champion from 2005 Geert from Holland, 2007 Terry from USA and all the other professional Japanese whistlers and other competitors, that I WILL GO FOR GOLD in IWC July 2008! I know that my Japanese friends who are responsible for the IWC will conduct and lead the whole competition and convention perfectly. Good luck!

Best regards from
Tormod Borgen Rogne

Terry Rappold
My name is Terry Rappold. I live in New Orleans, LA. USA.

I am now 56 years old but began whistling around the age of five. I basically started whistling, accompanying music on the radio, as a subconscious thing and for my own pleasure.  I continued whistling informally through my teen years and attended the International Whistlers Convention (IWC) for the first time in the year 2000.  Last year, in 2007, I was fortunate to be named the International Adult Male Grand Champion and in November 2007 released my first CD. In the year 2000, I did not consider myself a professional whistler. Now I do, as I perform in the concert setting and get paid for my performance as well as have the opportunity to sell CD's.

I directly attribute my development to the IWC and the countless hours it takes to practice to be prepared to compete at the convention.
The caliber of the performers, year after year, is incredible and the 2008 IWC in Japan is an event you do not want to miss!
I am personally very excited about attending the convention and continuing to introduce the art of melodic whistling to the general public. Whistling crosses the language barrier.  No matter your dialect, there is no language involved in the art of whistling to inhibit you from experiencing the emotion and passion the music is conveying.  In the title of my CD, I use the term whiSOULing because I believe when you listen to a melodic whistler you are gaining insight into his/her soul.

I invite you to learn more about the art by visiting my website www.thewhistlingman.com.

At the website you can listen to some soundtracks, view some live performances and connect to the IWC website.

Hoping to see you at the Japan IWC 2008!!

Terry Rappold

Steve Herbst

Greetings to the whistlers and whistling aficionados of Japan! I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of visiting and whistling in competition and performing in concert in Japan. Visiting Japan has been a dream of mine for over 30 years.  To wit, my home is graced with several works of art by Hiroshige, our favorite Japanese artist.

While I started whistling around age 7, I did not perform in public until I was at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960's where I simulated various flutes with the Glee Club. One of the numbers was "Three Haiku," where I replaced a Japanese reed flute hitting high E-b with a grace note sans vibrato. On one occasion, I had the opportunity to perform for members of your royal family: Prince Mikassa and his princess when they were visiting the U.S. and was introduced to both of them after the concert!

At last year's IWC in Louisburg, we were all very impressed with the quality and dedication of the Japanese whistlers; and we are most appreciative of the Japanese whistlers' stepping forward to host this year's convention.

My motto for the past several years is that "Whistling is an idea whose time has returned!" With the growth of interest in whistling throughout Asia -- Japan, China, Taiwan, and India - and with hosting of the IWC's being held in Japan and perhaps India in 2010, there is now a newly reinforced and greater, true legitimacy to the realization of "International" as it applies to our Convention and acceptance of our art!

I invite anyone who is interested in knowing more about my role in the whistling community to visit my website: http://www.SteveTheWhistler.com

Steve "The Whistler" Herbst
"Whistling is an idea whose time has returned!"

Steve "The Whistler" Herbst is an International Grand Champion (2002) and the only man ever named International Whistling Entertainer Of The Year 3X. Steve was inducted into the International Whistlers Hall of Fame in 2007. He is also the narrator for the award-winning documentary film, "Pucker-Up - The Fine Art Of Whistling."  He has performed in concert in some of the most prestigious venues in the United States including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, and is the only whistler ever to be invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has been a guest on countless TV and radio shows in America, Canada, and the U.K., done TV commercials, and been interviewed in dozens of newspapers and magazines. His popular CD, "Broadway And Beyond" features 15 Broadway Show tunes plus.

Sean Lomax
Two Time IWC Whistling Grand Champion
Star of Cirque Du Soleil Corteo (Mr. Loyal Ringmaster, The Loyal Whistler)
Head line Cruise ship Entertainer
Radio and Television Personality

Well where can I start I guess at the beginning.
I started whistling before I could talk my grandmother whistled around the house and I picked up whistling from my grandmother.
When I was 5 years old she took me to see the Sound of Music and gave me the sound track. I learned to whistle all the songs on the album. I was born to entertain as a whistler I love to bring a little happiness and pleasure to my audience as they listen to my unique talent.  I often joke in my show that I am just full of hot air.  I have an extensive repertoire Classical, Opera, Neapolitan, Jazz, R&B, Rag Time and Modern music. My whistling is closer to the voice than an instrument.  I have not trained my whistling to be an instrument but to be closer to voice with over three octaves. I am excited that the International Whistlers Convention under the Japan Whistlers' Federation will be held this year in Japan 2008 this is truly a monumental event in the expanding world of whistling which I am glad to have been a part of over the recent years. This event will truly make whistling an International Universal Expression of good will and understanding between many peoples of the world. Music has always been a bridge to bring peoples together and this form of musical ambassadorship "whistling" is on it way to being a wonderful bridge between nations.


George Oldfield
Hello, Japan, from the California Whistler, George Oldfield, a retired Research Entomologist who started whistling early in childhood, but who became an earnest whistler only after attending the International Whistlers Convention in 2001 at age 65.  Thereafter, I returned to compete three times from 2002 to 2006, improving each time and being selected as a finalist in 2006.  I hope the improvement I have shown and the success I have had will be an example to other whistlers to share their talent regardless of their age and I am pleased to see that this yearfs competition will include a category for senior whistlers.  For me, whistling constitutes a rewarding retirement activity, one that I am increasingly sharing with appreciative audiences.

Having derived so much pleasure from attending IWCfs whistling school, competing with other whistlers, and especially enjoying the camaraderie and good will that is a special feature of the convention, I look forward to visiting once again with the excellent Japanese whistlers and those from other countries whom I enjoyed so much at last Aprilfs IWC in the USA.  My only previous visit to Japan was to attend the 1980 International Congress of Entomology in Kyoto. One of my fondest recollections was being treated to music performed by an orchestra comprised solely of very young musicians.  I am especially excited about returning to Japan after so many years.
Melodic whistling is a wonderful means of promoting international good will, indeed this language of the birds, first heard and imitated by man many thousands of years ago, is truly an international language.  I look forward to attending IWC on my second visit to beautiful Japan this summer.
Should you be interested in hearing examples of my whistling, please refer to my website, www.californiawhistler.com.

Carole Anne Kaufman
Hello Whistlers and Lovers of Whistling,

I am Carole Anne Kaufman the "West Coast Whistler" ( as I live on the west coast in California). I have been whistling for over thirty years. I am a typical whistler, I was taught by my father at an early age and have been making music ever since.       

One of the things I love about whistling is that I can belt out music as louldy as I want in public and it is generally appreciated by the people around me. I don't think I would have as much public approval if I was singing at the top of my lungs in the supermarket!

I am very excited to come the International Whistling Convention and Competition in Japan, in July.  I have been participating in the IWC for over 5 years. In this community, I have truly been embraced as, and have embraced myself as a musician. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to educate others in the beauty of this rarely recognized art form.  

As whistlers, we are united in bringing our music and art to the masses. I truly believe that the Japan Whistlers' Federation hosting our whistling convention will greatly expand the awareness and credibility of whistling, world wide. I see the respect our organization is receiving by taking it's "International" status to new heights. 

I am honored to be a part of musical history. I am in excellent company with the other whistlers attending the 2008 Competition. I am looking forward to representing my country, my city and my musical art form for the appreciative audiences in Japan.

The International Whistling Convention is always and awesome opportunity to get to know many wonderful people, whistlers and friends of whistling. It is where we come together to learn, expand and play.

See you all in a few weeks, arigato!

Carole Anne Kaufman
Bronze Medal Women's International Whistling Grande Champion 2007

My website, http://www.caroleannekaufman.com/.

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  • Updated: May 31th 2008