It was bound to happen on a day like today—I had six appointments scheduled in six different locations (!) and I thought I was prepared. My day was supposed to start with an early morning board meeting of Early Music Hawaii when my cell phone rang. When I saw the phone number on my caller id, my heart sank. It was Ann Nishimura, the administrative assistant for the Punahou School chapel, wondering where I was! You see, I had neglected to log in the chapel service in my iPhone, and it was already 8:13, two minutes before chapel was supposed to start! I obviously didn’t make it and had to express my profound apologies. (These are the times I can hear my late husband, Carl, tsk-tsking and berating me for not being careful!)
I went ahead to my appointment with Ian Capps of Early Music Hawaii, where I met our newest volunteer, Nancy Welliver, who has moved here from the Pacific Northwest and will be helping us with our media and publicity. Just a day ago, I had finished designing the season brochure for 2017-2018, where you can see a sneak preview here.
(Click the image to enlarge) It looks to be another excellent season, featuring the music of Henry Purcell performed by our local musicians; the Peabody Consort of Baltimore presenting a most interesting program of Three Faiths (Christian, Sephardic and Moorish Spain); and the early music ensemble Ciaramella performing German songs of the renaissance. Plus we’ll have an all-women’s ensemble singing music by women composers in a concert called “Triumph Against the Odds II.”
Speaking of design layouts, yesterday I also just finished working on the monthly newsletter for our condo association. Of course there were some minor changes resulting in my racing home in between lessons and chapel services to get them done! Of course, it would have to happen on a Thursday which is my busiest day of the week, with two chapel services and six organ lessons!
After the Early Music Hawaii breakfast meeting, I drove to Punahou School where I walked in somewhat sheepishly to play a chapel service for the 9th graders (the service I missed this morning was for the 2nd and 3rd graders). Home for a quick lunch, then it was off to Sacred Hearts Academy to give an organ lesson. I returned home again to pick up my neighbor to take him to the airport, then drove straight to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church where I tweaked my organ registration for Sunday’s concert. It took me about 45 minutes to drive to Kailua from the airport due to a horrific car accident on the Pali Highway with a vehicle turned completely upside down, the wreck swarming with police officers and fire trucks.
Good thing I had enough energy to attend tonight’s fabulous and vocally stunning concert by Karol’s Karolers! According to the program, the group was formed in 2012 by three Polish brothers: Karol Nowicki, Michal Nowicki, and David Del Rocco. In the beginning the goal of the group was to spread holiday cheer around the island of Oahu, to eat cookies and to drink hot chocolate. In 2015 they produced their first spring and summer concerts, with an expanded repertoire. The ambitious program was an international potpourri of styles, with the singers performing in Zulu, English, Italian, Filipino, Spanish, Hawaiian, French, Swedish, and Samoan, all expertly performed and highly polished, like a beautiful gemstone!
I was both surprised and pleased that the group programmed two beloved works by local composers, Carl Crosier and John McCreary, both of whom have joined the heavenly chorus. They sang Carl’s setting of “The Queen’s Prayer,” and John’s “Na ke Akua ‘oe e kia’i” (Translated: Do not fret when trouble comes, God is watching; under his wings he will provide you with shelter.)
By the way, singers in the Karolers will be the choir for September’s Henry Purcell concert. If tonight’s concert is any indication, it should be spectacular! They will tour Hawaii island in early June with concerts in Hilo and Kona.
It was clear that the group was having a boatload of fun performing this diverse music, and their enthusiasm was infectious. I came home a lot happier and upbeat after tonight’s fantastic concert!
UPDATE: Here is an edited version of the Facebook video of the concert which was streamed live, in case you weren’t at the concert. The video quality is a little fuzzy, but at least you can hear the vocal pyrotechnics this group demonstrated.