Honolulu Symphony tours the Big Island
I LOVE HILO. And that's a great thing, because out of the entire Honolulu Symphony's core of musicians, I might have performed there the most in the past few years.
Through coincidences of timing and opportunity, I've had the privilege of performing in each of the last three Hawaii Concert Society seasons as a member of various Chamber Music Hawaii ensembles. And most recently, I joined the University of Hawaii at Hilo Orchestra and Chorus with Maestro Ken Staton for the Hawaii premiere of Karl Jenkins' "Requiem."
Every time I perform in Hilo, I find myself saying how much I would love to return and bring 62 of my closest friends -- my 62 fellow musicians in the Honolulu Symphony, that is. Now I get the chance. The Honolulu Symphony will soon be on tour on the Big Island!
Our tour was made possible through a Hawaii Department of Human Services grant, which is part of a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families federal block grant intended to help families achieve self-sufficiency. Thanks to the generosity of the DHS and community sponsors, the first wave of musicians will come ashore in Kona, Kealakekua, Kamuela, Kailua-Kona, Keaau, Mountain View and Hilo tomorrow as we perform in a variety of small chamber ensembles in schools.
Over the next few days, musicians will visit schools that participate in the Honolulu Symphony's Music Education program, specifically our Carnegie Hall-sponsored program, "Communities LinkUP!" Through this yearlong program, third- to sixth-graders have learned to read music and play recorders.
School visits will give children the opportunity to rehearse with us in preparation for a full-orchestra concert created just for the youngsters. They will also have the opportunity to get to know the instruments and ask questions about life as a professional musician. That part promises to be entertaining!
Following our school visits, the orchestra will perform in a fun music education concert for participating schools. And, the children will have the chance to play and sing along with us. This rare opportunity gives these young students the chance to experience a live, full-orchestra performance.
ON WEDNESDAY evening the Honolulu Symphony will present a free community concert, led by guest conductor Maestro Aaron Mahi, at the Sangha Hall in Hilo. This family-oriented concert features the full orchestra performing a selection of popular masterworks. Concertmaster Ignace "Iggy" Jang, familiar to Hilo audiences from recent concert appearances, will be the violin soloist in Sarasate's "Carmen Fantaisie." Principal Cellist Mark Votapek will also be featured in performance of Saint-Saëns' First Cello Concerto.
Our Hilo concert will also feature Mozart's renowned Symphony No. 40 and Brahms' entertaining "Hungarian Dances." Movie buffs will know and appreciate the "Cavatina" from the film "The Deer Hunter," as arranged by UH-Manoa composition and theory professor Byron Yasui. Finally, we will wrap it all up with Charles King's elegant "Kamehameha Waltz."
We invite all Hilo music lovers to join us for this free concert. We will perform for the first time at Sangha Hall at the Honpa Hongwanji Betsuin, located at 398 Kilauea Ave. (across the street from Longs Drug). Concert time is 7 p.m., and you can reserve your free seats by calling (808) 792-2000.
Many of the musicians hope that this concert will mark the return of regular visits to the neighbor islands. We are working to make sure that it does, because the Honolulu Symphony is committed to inspiring, entertaining and educating all of Hawaii with the experience of live, symphonic music.