The Honolulu Symphony came to the Big Island this week.
Since their arrival on the island, they have visited several schools and performed for the school children around the Hilo and Keau'u areas, including a morning concert at the Kamehameha School auditorium in Kea'au where we attended last night's concert.
On the way to Kea'au, we picked up our friends Kele and Frank, who rode with us and we joined up with our friend Trevella and her daughter Tavina at the school auditorium.
The concert was in one word...WOW! I wish I could have taken pics to just show you and recorded it so you could listen to what a packed house experienced last evening!
The audience was composed of people from all ages and from all ethnicities as all events are on the Big Island, everyone dressed informally, including the Symphony members who wore matching aloha wear instead of formal black tie.
Our friend Kele (Gerald DeOreo) was in his element. At one time he was part of the Honolulu Symphony and also served as a conductor. He was like a kid in a candy store and was able to see and visit with some of the long-time members of the Symphony who were his friends and colleagues at one time. They were all making plans to meet up for breakfast this morning.
There will be concerts held in Waimea (Kamuela) and on the Kona side - check their schedule by clicking on the Honolulu Symphony link below.
Not all of the Symphony members were able to come on this trip, but they had a large group here. Ana Krinitsky, is a fairly young woman who served as guest conductor. Her style is restrained but really wonderful....no large histrionic movements from her.....
I was enthralled by the 'first chair' in the violin section. His whole being was wrapped into his playing and not once did I notice his back touch the back of his chair.
Some of the older symphony members have been a part of it for at least 30 years, but there are a lot of younger members also.
There are three chamber groups made up of symphony members. You can see details on these sub-groups here:
The music on the program was all from well-known and some not so well-known American composers....some still living. One selection was composed by a present day Hawaii composer and it was about "Lo'ihi: Birth of an Island" - Lo'ihi, is the newest island in the Hawaiian chain forming on the bottom of the ocean a bit SE off the Coast of the Big Island was a very moving piece.
The program in order:
Samuel Barber Overture to the School for Scandal
George Gershwin Porgy and Bess: Selections
(1898-1937) Summertime; I Got Plenty o'Nuttin; Bess, You is My Woman Now; Oh, I Can't Sit Down; There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York; It Ain't Necessarily So; Oh, Lord, I'm On My Way.
Byron Yasul Lo'ihi: Birth of an Island
Robert Beaser Two Movements from Folksongs
(1954- ) IV. Ground 0 (Homage to 9/11 Victims)
V. Cindy Redux (A romp through Kentucky's Blue Grass)
Aaron Copland Fanfare for the Common Man
Leonard Bernstein West Side Story Selections:
(1918-1990) I Feel Pretty; Maria; Something's Coming; Tonight; One hand, One Heart; Cool; America
Morton Gould Pavanne (from American Symphonette, #2
After his death, his sister, Princess Lydia Lili'uokalani Kawānanakoa became Queen Lili'okalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawai'i. She was also a very prolific and accomplished composer. The well loved Aloha ʻOe (words in this first link) - Farewell to Thee (sung by Tia Carrere in this last link) is one that most people recognize when they hear it, but the list of her compositions is impressive.
A huge Mahalo nui loa to the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and the Hawai'i Department of Human Services who by furnishing grants make it possible for the symphony to travel to the neighbor islands and for the residents of the neighbor islands to experience events like last night's for free.
The weather has been frightful for at least the last 10 days, but Mother Nature seemed to make amends by dispersing the clouds, stopping the rains and gicing us a clear and gorgeous last night with a beautiful moon and a sky full of stars....first time any of us had seen them in quite a while... Short respite...it is back to frightful again!