KINOHI composed by Herb Mahelona

2 05 2018

On April 28, 2018, at Kawaiaha‘o Church, I was a member of combined choirs performing the premiere of the Hawaiian language oratorio entitled KINOHI composed by Herb Mahelona. He wrote the lyrics and music over a 20-year period. I am excited to share the video with you. It is one hour and 40 minutes long. As the composer remarked upon hearing it sung for the first time in its entirety, “It is exactly as I dreamt it!” Please sit back and enjoy!

Worth watching more than once! – Herb Mahelona

Mahalo, gratitude, to all involved who made this happen.

~ Rebekah Luke, second alto

Enjoy Hawaiian choral music tonight

12 03 2016
Kawaiahao Church is on the corner of King and Punchbowl streets. A plaque describes its construction

Festival venue: Kawaiaha‘o Church, on the corner of King and Punchbowl streets.

Aloha studio fans!

I am excited to perform tonight in “Ke Ahe Lau Makani,” a festival of Hawaiian choral music with the Royal Hawaiian Band, and I invite to you come and enjoy. The downbeat is at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary of Kawaiaha‘o Church on King street across from city hall in Honolulu. There is no admission charge to attend.

I perform with Kawaiolaonāpūkanileo, the host choir. Usually a small a cappella ensemble, for tonight we invited other individual singers and groups to join in. They are:

The Hawaiian Chorus of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the Gioventu Musicale Ensemble of the Hawai‘i Youth Opera Chorus, and the Kawaiaha‘o Church Choir.

Indeed, it will be a joyous occasion to perform Hawaiian music written by famous composers of the past, namely Queen Lili‘uokalani, and contemporary composers and arrangers.

This year’s festival honors and celebrates Prince Jonah Kalaniana‘ole for his birthday, the late composer Haunani Bernardino who gifted the festival with its name, and the late Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell who was on the core committee that initiated the collection of Lili‘uokalani’s mele, culminated in the printing of The Queen’s Song Book.

When you come you will be treated to so much more story and translation of Hawai‘i’s past in a most historical setting. Please bring a friend with you to come and hear the music!

Hard-working festival personnel are: Phil Hidalgo, festival coordinator; Nola A. Nahulu, artistic director; Buddy Nalua‘i, organist; Wendy Chang, pianist; and Clarke Bright, band master of the Royal Hawaiian Band. Mahalo!

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



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