COURTESY HAWAII YOUTH OPERA CHORUS
The Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus sings at the Music Educators National Conference at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, at a workshop focusing on Pacific Rim music.
Youth chorus, orchestra hold free concert
Travel opportunities and an appreciation for the performing arts keep 17-year-old Kanoe Tjorvatjoglou focused on her singing. She has been a member of the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus for 12 years.
"Its something that would be hard to leave behind," she said. "I took two years off and would wake up on Saturday mornings and was sad when it was time for practice."
'MASS OF THE CHILDREN'
Presented by the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Chorus:
On stage: 7 p.m. tomorrow
Place: Kawaiaha'o Church
Call: 792-2000 for reservations
Tjorvatjoglou's key experiences with the choir include a trip to China for the Beijing Children's Choral Festival and the annual week-long Choral Festival at Turtle Bay. "We sing songs from the Pacific Rim. ... We share our culture with people from the mainland," she said. "We have sung Russian, French, African-American spiritual and lots of Hawaiian music."
Tomorrow, the youth opera teams up with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and chorus for a free Thanksgiving eve concert close to home, performing English composer John Rutter's "Mass of the Children."
Interim director Nola Nahulu conducts more than 100 vocalists. Organist Buddy Naluai accompanies the youth and adult choirs, which are joined by guest soloists Malia Ka'ai-Barrett and Erik Haines. Rutter's "Sacred Anthems" and John Cook's "Fanfare for Organ" are also on the program.
Rutter is known for his carols and festive holiday music, Nahulu said. "Mass of the Children" is a contemporary piece written in late 2002 and early 2003. It was first performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
The youth opera is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. "We are the longest-running community chorus," Nahalu said, incorporating eight ensembles from grades kindergarten to 12. The junior high and high school ensembles will perform at the Mass.
Members from all over Oahu meet each week at the University of Hawaii Music Department to rehearse.
Tomorrow's program presents a unique opportunity for the audience, Nahalu said.
"The thing that is most unusual is the significant role of the children's chorus with an adult chorus. We practically never hear a children's chorus mixed with adults. The music is just plain beautiful."
"We are also bringing in our outreach kids," she added.
The youth opera works with the Department of Education to bring music basics to the schools.
Groups from Nanakuli and Palama will attend the concert, and most of the children likely have never seen a children's chorus, she said. "They will get a historical tour of the church, a picnic and will get to watch the concert."