Hawaii Pacific University's International Vocal Ensemble went through its last practice yesterday before heading to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall. The ensemble includes members Megan Moore, left, Mamiko Ogawa, Rachel Clough, Sheena Istre and Scott Shaub.

The big time

Hawaii Pacific University's
Vocal Ensemble will perform
on Sunday at Carnegie Hall


Saturday, June 12, 2004

Susan Duprey is the musical director at Hawaii Pacific University. In a story on Page A3 Wednesday, she was incorrectly identified as Mary Duprey.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

Twenty Hawaii Pacific University singers say they feel like they've hit the big time.

The International Vocal Ensemble is headed for New York City's Carnegie Hall, one of the world's foremost concert venues, to perform Sunday with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and five other choirs.

Getting a gig at Carnegie Hall is a big deal for even the most experienced of musicians, but it's huge for a small group of students from a private college in Hawaii who have been practicing together for only two years.

For 23-year-old tenor Stephen Zygo, who started performing in fourth grade when he played Smee in a school version of "Peter Pan," having the opportunity to perform on the same stage that has been host to musical greats such as Arturo Toscanini, Ray Charles and the Vienna Philharmonic is a dream come true.

"It's ironic that I had to move to Hawaii to perform in Carnegie Hall," the Rochester, N.Y., native said. "I've been performing in New York all my life -- it was always Carnegie this and Carnegie that -- and now I get to perform there. It's a great honor."

None of the singers in the ensemble is a music major, but they share a love for music and have natural vocal talent, which has been sharpened under the guidance of musical director Mary Duprey.

"This group is very talented," Duprey said. "The singers have made incredible progress in a very short time and they're ready for this."

Carnegie Hall hosts a number of concerts a year that feature vocal ensembles from around the country. Ensembles perform by invitation only, and HPU's group was able to get a spot on stage because of Duprey's reputation as a classical singer and conductor.

The group has been practicing daily for the past six months. Because they are a diverse group -- six members are from Hawaii, 11 are from the mainland, and one each from Japan, Sweden and Brazil -- they have had to spend extra time on diction and making sure that their accents all sound the same when they sing.

During their last practice yesterday, Duprey stressed the need to concentrate on the pronunciation of the Latin words of Morten Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna," one of the two pieces they will be performing Sunday afternoon.

The next time they sing it will be in Carnegie Hall's 2,804-seat Isaac Stern Auditorium.


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