HPU recently announced the appointment of Matthew Kala‘i
Stern as the director of Choral Music at HPU. He replaces Susan
McCreary Duprey, who created HPU’s International Vocal
Ensemble. Stern has an broad background of musical training
and experience, according to Jeffrey L. Philpott, vice president
for Student Affairs, who made the announcement.
Stern is not new to HPU. In 2006, he completed a season as
the Interim Director of the HPU International Vocal Ensemble
during which he directed the choir on a tour in Salzburg and
Vienna, Austria, where the group participated in the Mozart
International Choral Festival, celebrating 250 years of the
composer’s musical legacy.
Stern earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa where he studied choral
conducting under Dr. Karen Kennedy and served as assistant
conductor of the University Chorus, Concert Choir, and Chamber
Singers programs for three years.
Stern previously directed the Honolulu Boy Choir from 2000-01
and the Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club Choir from 1993-94.
He has served as musical theater director for ‘Ohi‘a
Productions, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Saint Louis High School,
Kamehameha Schools, and the Performing Arts Center of Kapolei.
Stern’s performance credits include theater, musical
theater, Hawaiian music, and hula. He has performed professionally
throughout Hawai‘i and has toured in California, Washington,
In 2001, Stern was awarded multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards
by the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts for his work
with the group ‘Ale‘a. In 1996, he won first prize
at the Frank B. Shaner Hawaiian Falsetto Contest. His academic
awards include the Mae Zenke Orvis Award for excellence in
music performance, the Gregory Goetz Music Award for excellence
in music education, and the Mary Jane Montano Award for preservation
of Hawaiian music.
Stern also currently serves as the music director of First
United Methodist Church of Honolulu and as music assistant
to the performing arts department of the Kamehameha Schools.
In the summer of 2008, Stern will team up with Dr. Teresa McCreary,
HPU’s director of Instrumental Music, to lead HPU’s
orchestra and International Vocal Ensemble on a musical tour
of Beijing and Zian, China.