Music of the Christmas season

12 12 2019

Christmas music is getting me into the spirit, and I’d like to share the experiences with you.

• Come early for a seat to hear the 100-voice choir I sing in, the Windward Choral Society, at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at St. John Vianney Church at 920 Keola Drive in Kailua, Oahu.

“For a Breath of  Ecstasy” composed by Michael John Trotta with lyrics by Sara Teasdale will be under the baton of Artistic Director Susan McCreary Duprey and accompanied by Pianist Thomas Yee, Organist Jieun Newland, and other talented instrumentalists from around the island.

Open to the public. Freewill donations accepted.

Other choral works include repertoire from Argentina, Canada, France, Japan, America (to include an early American Shaker tune and a piece in Hebrew), South Africa, and Hawaiʻi.

• This Friday, our granddaughters will perform in the Le Jardin Academy student Christmas programs on campus.

• On Saturday evening, the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus at Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu is offering up Christmas tunes starting 7 p.m. Admission free.

• Prior to the above evening event, I’ll be helping out the Windward Choral Society at Barnes & Nobel bookstore in a fundraiser for the choir. Just make a purchase and mention WCS to the cashier.

• In a members-and-guests only event, a music program will follow the  Christmas Dinner at Kaneohe Yacht Club. We’re piggybacking on this occasion with another couple to celebrate Darling Husband’s birthday.

• Washington Place, the Governor’s official mansion, has our name on a guest list. So fancy.

• And into the new year is a three-day workshop on Maui led by well-known visiting composer Mark Hayes.

Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year! Yahoo!

~ Rebekah


Harmony and balance

26 02 2015

Aloha, studio fans. Today’s post is inspired by musical harmony and spiritual harmony. I don’t know why so many of us have struggles this season, but know that you are not alone. You are not saying so, because you are not a complainer, but I am aware that many friends are facing challenges now.

In whatever way you or someone you love is sidelined from regular activities and loving relationships, I hope that you will heal and find a way back to harmony, balance, and wellness. Not necessarily back to the former comfortable routine, but perhaps to something better and filled with more joy.

That is my wish for myself, too. It is a time to consider a new direction, perhaps. A reconstruction project at home and trying to age gracefully (oh, my) when inside I feel much younger is why I’m adjusting, but I won’t bore you with all that! 😉

One of the things that gives me joy is good music, or making good music, to be more exact. Singing with a choir for me is like pressing a reset button because of the sounds our voices make, because of the way the singers have to listen to each other to blend in harmony, and because of the “high” we come away with after a good rehearsal or performance. Choral singing requires being in the moment, and for the moment any other worries, anxieties, or fears are put aside. That brings me to:

Travel tip:Ke Ahe Lau Makani” (The Comforting Gentleness of the Spreading Wind)

You are cordially invited to a concert of sacred Hawaiian choral music at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at Kawaiahao Church, King and Punchbowl streets in Honolulu. Admission is free.

The concert will be the culmination of “Ke Ahe Lau Makani,” a Hawaiian music festival that takes place from 2 p.m. on the same day. The Royal Hawaiian Band will accompany a new choral number. Kawaiolaonapukanileo, the music ensemble directed by Nola A. Nahulu, sponsors the event.

Anyone who wishes to sing, individual or choir, may participate. Included in the festival fee of $20 per person for March 7 festival are a music packet, rehearsal from 2 to 5 p.m., and a picnic of Hawaiian food on the lawn at 5 p.m. Registration is due by March 2.

Another rehearsal is scheduled for Monday, March 2, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Na Mea Hawaii store at Ward Warehouse in Honolulu. Attendance will give singers an advantage to learning the music—some familiar, others not—written or arranged by Hawaiian composers.

My first exposure to Hawaiian choral music was as a child, with my parents, who took me to Sunday service at Kawaiahao Church. In those days the choir sang from the loft in the back of the sanctuary with harmonious voices, energetic and strong. Hawaiian voices comprised then and now a unique and beautiful blend. My mother, a piano teacher, pointed all this out to me. My father, a Hawaiian, simply came along and appreciated the music.

Some of the anthems on the March 7 program are part of the Kawaiahao Church Choir repertoire. This church choir and other choirs will be singing together, and with you, too, if you come. I hope you will!

Kawaiahao Church is on the corner of King and Punchbowl streets. A plaque describes its construction

Kawaiahao Church is on the corner of King and Punchbowl streets. I’m singing with Kawaiolaonapukanileo here in the March 7 Hawaiian choral music festival.

Copyright 2015 Rebekah Luke



%d bloggers like this: