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Choral group brings aloha to NYC

by Kalamalama staff

   

In New York City for a debut performance at Carnegie Hall, HPU’s International Vocal Ensemble spread a little aloha around.

The 20 student singers comprising the ensemble arrived in the Big Apple on June 10 and held a final round of rehearsals for the Mid-America production of The Choral Cycles of Morten Lauridsen at Carnegie’s Isaac Stern Auditorium.

Click above for more photos


In keeping with the aloha spirit, HPU Director of Choral Activities Susan McCreary Duprey presented a lei to conductor Tim Sharp, the maestro for the Carnegie performance. Making a surprise appearance at the first rehearsal, and also receiving a lei, was the renowned classical composer himself, Dr. Morten Lauridsen, who described the message he intended for the compositions being performed as solemn and uplifting. Sharp began the rehearsal with “Aloha! Now, let’s take it from the top.”

Before their June 13 Carnegie debut, the HPU group toured several historic monuments, including the hallowed ground zero at the World Trade Center, site of the 9-11 devastation. For most of the students, this was a first visit to New York, and all were struck by the solemnity of the site.

“ The music we bring to New York, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, is particularly appropriate,” Duprey said. “The title of this spiritual piece translates as ‘eternal light,’ and the words suggest the meaning ‘may perpetual light shine upon those who have perished.’”

For the Carnegie performance the group sang two of Lauridsen’s works—O Magnum Mysterium and Lux Aeterna—in Latin. The HPU singers, who embody the diversity found at HPU, joined voices with five other outstanding choral groups from across the nation. “The coming together of hundreds of singers, blending into one harmonic voice, was truly profound,” exclaimed Duprey.

Dozens of family members and friends of the HPU singers came to New York for the performance. A special concert for a group of about 35 such supporters was held the day before the Carnegie debut. The parents of HPU International Vocal Ensemble member Kaleo Clarke flew in from the Big Island and brought leis for the singers who wore them at the performance, spreading some aloha in the esteemed halls of Carnegie.

Following the matinee concert, the singers enjoyed a cruise of New York Harbor entertained by sounds of Hawai‘i from the ukulele of HPU student Jon Felarca from Salt Lake.

Relaxing after the performance the students expressed the sense of heightened ohana they felt after sharing this experience.

HPU student Scott Shaub, the choral manager, summed it up: “We were a close-knit group to begin with. Our director Susan Duprey has not only led us to new heights vocally, she has also brought us together as an ensemble in the true spirit of aloha. I know that none of us will ever forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Shaub added. And, he concluded, “I hope we left behind some HPU warmth and aloha.”

 

 

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
 
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