A pause to enjoy the fruits of my labor

24 03 2020

Many weeks ago I was interviewed by a Japanese magazine about my art. The editor, local translator, photographer, and I met at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden, a scenic and photogenic spot in windward Oahu.

Impression Gold was planning an issue entitled “Hawai’i the Door to the Art Resort” for American Express card members. For me, it was a unique experience. Usually I am the one writing the stories and making the images.

Today I went to the post office to fetch mail. (Everyone is being careful to avoid the coronavirus.) What a surprise to receive a complimentary copy of the magazine with a two-page spread about me, my hand-dyed tissue paper collages, and my oil paintings. How exciting! I only wish I could read Japanese. Can you?

 

Many thanks to editor Mr. Yoshiaki Nimura and team.

~ Rebekah





My choral (and) conducting gurus

28 01 2020

Mark Hayes with me and Rev. Danette Kong in the pink lei

This past weekend I attended a three-day choral music workshop by well-known pianist-composer Mark Hayes. Keawalaʻi Congregational Church at Mākena, Maui, founded in 1832, was the venue.

My takeaway, literally, was a folio of sacred and secular music and a series of published articles on how to improvise at the piano. I later found all of the “Improv Notes” on the www.markhayes.com website. One can download them for free.

I am reminded of other times in Honolulu and at Cannon Beach, OR, when I was fortunate as a chorister to sing under the baton of Rodney Eichenberger who is associated with Florida State University. He has coined the motto “what they see is what they get.” I found a Facebook page named “The Rodney Eichenberger Cult.” Indeed, he has a following!

I mined the internet and found “The Life and Philosophy of Choral Conductor Rodney Eichenberger, Including a Detailed Analysis and Application of His Conductor-Singer Gestures” by Adam Jonathan Con. The preview of the book at books.google.com is a fine description.

I’m now inspired to sing in a spring concert with my group, the Windward Choral Society, this February 9, at 4 pm, at St. John Vianney Parish in Kailua, Oahu. We will be singing African-American, spiritual, and gospel numbers. Susan McCreary Duprey directs.

The best part of the weekend on Maui was meeting up with my cousins Rev. Danette Kong, who is the music director at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church, and Steven Lum and Prince Steven who came from Oahu and joined us at this beautiful spot.

Looking toward East Maui from Mākena

Keawalaʻi Congregational Church

L to r: cousins Steven, Prince, Rebekah, and Danette

~ Rebekah





3 long plane rides away

6 11 2019

Aloha, studio fans!

Just a reminder that you can see what I’m doing In Europe this November. But, you ask, exactly where? I invite you to come with me at http://www.rebekahstravels.wordpress.com

~ Rebekah





My Hawaiian volcano collages

14 08 2019

LouisPohl A new exhibit of my art opens on August 27 and extends to September 27, 2019, at LouisPohl Gallery on Bethel street in downtown Honolulu. I’d love to see you at the reception on First Friday evening of September 6. Home-baked chocolate cookies!

News photographs of the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano inspired me to create images in collage. I decided to go big and abstract like the feeling I have when I think of Hawaii the big island. My original collection included pieces depicting the captivating orange fire of Pele, and happily those pieces are now in private residences. The remainder of the tissue paper paintings is in comparatively quieter colors. For unity I have created a new piece entitled “Crater View” in muted tones especially for this exhibit.

Love, Rebekah





Crater view

9 07 2019

    Today’s palette of colored tissue paper

Just one more image. There’s a happy dent in my collection of “Fiery Volcano Collages” since three of the panels found their way to art patrons. But, a reputable gallery in downtown Honolulu has scheduled an exhibit of the collages for mid-August through September. Lucky me!

On looking at the complement, I feel the group of collages is not cohesive as is. To tie them all together I am making a picture of the “new” collapsed Kilauea crater in subdued mauve-to-neutral tones.

It looks simple, but it is not. I still will need to be mindful of turning the form, meaning, where will I put the lights, middle tones, darks? It depends on where the sun is shining from, in relation to the angle of the ground. Lava, in general, is one color.

 

Billowy textures of paper

My workshop cohort at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden





The magic of Carnegie Hall

17 06 2019

The Lincoln High School Harmonics choir from San Jose, CA, performed at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City last Saturday night. What a thrill, not only to perform there, but to be part of a combined National Concert Chorus made up of ensembles from eleven schools (ranging from boys’ choir to some older adult singers), as well as to be conducted under the baton of two dynamic and sought-after conductors—Andrew W. Minear and Jeffrey Benson (read “rock star”).

For the theme “Reflections on Unity,” still images were projected onto the back wall of the stage, making use of the width and height of the wall for great impact.

L O V E   (photographed during a rehearsal)

For the finalé, the stage was not big enough for all the choirs and a full concert band plus two ballet dancers, so some singers sang on the audience level in front of the stage, and some were in the balcony—left, right, and center—for an amazing surround sound.

Red upholstered seats in Carnegie Hall

Oh, the acoustics of Carnegie Hall! They are so fine that Ricola cough drops are offered to theater-goers as they pass through the lobby to their seats. Nice touch!

The Lincoln High School Harmonics in their concert blacks after their magical performance, with Carnegie Hall lighted in the background.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Besides teaching music, Anne-Marie Katemopoulos, or Miss K as her students call her, teaches life skills.

Anne-Marie Katemopoulos

She drills them hard so they learn to be independent and know how to survive in the big city. For example: how to take the subway and how to transfer trains. That came in handy. I was one of seven chaperones on the trip. One time, probably during rush hour, half of the students boarded the train without a chaperone when the doors closed! No need to worry. The kids waited for the other half of us at the transfer point. Good job!

Another example: how to navigate the city—avenues vs. streets; which way is uptown or downtown. We did a lot of walking. No wonder there are so many specialty stores selling socks!

One of the chaperones was my roommate Peggy Mahoney, an ObGyn, parent, and contributor to Lincoln High School. Her medical knowledge came in handy. Apparently, with experience, Miss K can predict when students’ health will weaken on an excursion like this.

In New York, dare I say around the world, everyone has a smart phone. Whatever the boss uses, everyone must use too. So we all had our phones, and it seemed as though we checked them at least every 30 minutes for updated instructions. It is “standard equipment” these days. Everyone also had an app that pinpointed everyone’s whereabouts on a map for the group leaders.

A school policy is the power and safety of threes. No one was allowed out of the hotel home base unless s/he was in a group of three. We had daily morning meetings in person and debriefings at night.

Anne-Marie Katemopoulos is a hard worker who invests in the future of her students.

Interesting to know: When a Lincoln HS alumnus now working in The Big Apple asked who wanted to pursue a career on Broadway, where one needs to be not just a triple threat of singer-dancer-actor, but also offer a fourth talent such as instrumentalist, only one student raised his hand. He was a starry-eyed freshman. 😉





It’s sunny in New York City

15 06 2019


June 15, 2019—It’s sunny in New York City, and I am here as a chaperone with a choir from Lincoln High School of San Jose, CA. The young choristers perform tonight at the National Concerts music festival program at Carnegie Hall. It’s so exciting!

I was invited to come along by director Anne-Marie Katemopoulos, who I met at a choral conductors conference a few summers ago.

We have seen seen two shows—“King Kong” and “Beetlejuice “—and independently we stood in line for discounted tickets to “My Fair Lady” at the tickets booth in Times Square.

Anne-Marie Katemopoulos, left, at one of her briefings

Times Square tickets booth

Times Square, looking toward the ball that drops on New Year’s Eve

While the choir was in rehearsal, we chaperones had free time in The Big Apple.

Seven chaperones total: me, Vanessa, Mike, Heidi, Peggy, and Andrea. (Missing: Garret). Most had students assigned to them. I was invited as an “extra overall.”  Some of the “chaps” were parents, others were connected to the school. Stay tuned for my next post from Carnegie Hall!








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