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





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

 








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