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by Kalamalama staff

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, and Japan.
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.


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