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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright

 

When Susan Duprey founded the International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble three years ago, we had no idea that in 2004 they would make their Carnegie Hall debut. We couldn’t have anticipated that in 2006 they would head to Salzburg, Austria to represent Hawai‘i in a musical celebration honoring the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Now we are marking the debut of our own HPU Chamber Orchestra, founded by Director of Instrumental Music, Dr. Teresa McCreary.

Research suggests that students who participate in performing arts are more likely to finish their degrees. Being a member of the chorale, vocal ensemble, band, or orchestra helps give students a sense of place and belonging within a university. Freshmen can feel an immediate sense of identity as musical representatives of HPU, and upperclassmen enjoy the traditions and rituals that go along with membership in a fine organization with an outstanding reputation.

International tours and participation in prestigious festivals and competitions also builds esprit de corps. Opportunities for cultural exchange abound in performing arts ensembles. For example, the HPU Jazz Ensemble recently participated in a 12th Annual Honolulu Festival Concert with a university band from Japan. When the two bands rehearsed before performing, the language barrier disappeared when the music began. At the rehearsal break, trumpet players from both countries were laughing and exchanging ideas on mouthpieces and horn quality. There was even a friendly competition on who could play the highest note, after which there was more uproarious laughter. The international language of music was being spoken loudly and clearly.

The HPU community can look forward to seeing and hearing more of our performing arts ensembles: The new Chamber Orchestra, the Sea Warrior Wind Ensemble, Pep Band, Jazz Ensemble, International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble, and maybe even a new HPU Percussion Ensemble in the future.


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