Kona Choral Society’s Youth Chorus singers ‘Lighting the Way’

The enthusiasm of live choral performance mixed with the holiday spirit will be on display as the Kona Choral Society Youth Chorus singers perform their “Lighting the Way” concert at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua-Kona.

The landmark location of this free, festive performance is a fitting venue, explained Youth Director Wendy Buzby, for both its tradition and acoustic value. “This will be the first time the students have performed here,” Buzby, who is in her second season conducting the program, said of the church. “We are all very excited and grateful to Pastor David and Mokuaikaua for allowing the keiki to sing in this beautiful, historic space.”

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New experiences and opportunities, a reoccurring theme this year for the Youth Chorus, will be exemplified through performance and song. The concert will feature the Youth Program’s newly formed Teen Outreach Ensemble, comprised of high school juniors, Mia McGrath and Charlotte Dadzie, in addition to the Youth, Children’s and Primary Choruses.

“This is an opportunity for the girls to be out in front of people performing, gaining new experiences and leadership opportunities by getting out into the community as a service. It’s important for them to see the inherent value that music is a service that benefits and uplifts people,” Buzby said of the new duo, who performed at the Teen Empowerment Event in September, and will be performing at the Holualoa School’s Craft and Food Fair.

The small ensemble has provided Buzby and these two singers the chance to practice more intricate and challenging music, develop sight reading skills, and help propel the students towards personal vocal growth and goals.

The entire 35-member ensemble will open the show by performing the traditional Hebrew blessing, “Shalom Chaverim.” Following the introduction, the Children’s Chorus, which incorporates students from third to fifth grade, will sing the jazzy classic, “Swingin’ on a Star,” the holiday-themed, “Celebrate it’s Hanukkah,” the nursery rhyme, “Give a Dog a Bone,” and will conclude with the traditional children’s round “White Coral Bells.”

Next to take center stage will be the sixth through ninth graders of the Youth Chorus. These members will sing, “Jingle Bell Rock (with Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree),” The Greatest Showman’s “A Million Dreams,” and will conclude with the Christmas favorite “Carol of the Bells.”

Finishing the individual chorus recitals will be the youngest members, the Primary Chorus, highlighting kindergarten, first, and second graders.

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The full ensemble will reconnect once again to conclude the show, ending with a trio of holiday carols.

Info: For more information contact Susan Leonard at kcsyouthchorus@gmail.com. Parking and concert are free to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted to support the Youth Program.