Kona Choral Society honors late charter member Alice Daniel for spring concert

  • Kona Choral Society's spring concert will be in honor of the late Alice Daniel. The concert is 4 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa. (Kona Choral Society/Courtesy Photo)

KAILUA-KONA — The Kona Choral Society’s annual spring concert, “A Musical Journey: From Fauré, to Maori, to Hawaiian,” will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa, and will represent a true testament to the profound impact and interconnectivity of music.

The performance comprises both an eclectic international ride of global voice and sound, as well as an inspirational remembrance to one of the KCS’s late charter members, Alice Daniel.

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The commemoratory opening number and feature work, Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem,” will be in honor of Daniel, who was inspirational in founding the KCS Youth Chorus, a dedicated board member, accomplished piano teacher, and beloved member of the alto section, chorus, and Kona community at large. Fauré’s most renowned multi-movement liturgical work was chosen specifically by KCS artistic director Susan McCreary Duprey for the distinctive interwoven relationship the song holds for the conductor and ensemble.

“I learned that it was one of Alice’s favorite pieces and there is a tremendous family connection for me as well,” Duprey said in a press release. “It was the first major work in which I sang a solo under my father’s baton, it was performed liturgically at my father’s funeral at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu, as well as at a funeral of one of my father’s students, and I had already started preparing my Windward Choral Society (WCS) to sing it with Hawaii Pacific University singers at the same cathedral. It was a no-brainer to include it in our KCS spring concert.”

The work has been performed around the world, including at Paris’ recently damaged Notre Dame, and is known for what has been described by composers and conductors as one of the most beautiful “amens” ever written.

While this version was written by Fauré, the arrangement that the KCS will perform was edited and revoiced by current HPU Director of Choral Activities, Alec Schumacker, and calls for lower strings, viola, cello, brass, and the use of only one violin. Additionally, featured soloists for the work will include baritone Dan Garrett singing in two movements and soprano soloist Daniele Gold, in the “Pie Jesu” movement.

Paying honor to the memory of Daniel through the Latin text speaks to what Fauré wrote as the purpose behind his composition, that Requiem is “dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

After the in memoriam opener, the chorus’ voyage will travel across the Pacific to New Zealand, with a continued communal connection of shared peace. The next poignantly-selected piece is a Maori song, “Kia Hora Te Marino” written from the adaptation of Maori proverbs that reference the beauty of the culture. The song will feature soloist Leilani Dumaguin, singing in Maori.

The thread of discovery will carry on in the next song, the early American piece, “No Time.”

Highlighting the South Pacific will be a focal point of the musical journey as Duprey has included four Hawaiian songs into the repertoire, including: “Palehua,” “Himeni Hope,” “Keawaiki,” and “Kona Kai Opua.” The latter will close the show with a strong, uplifting send-off, showcasing the beauty of Kona, Hualalai and Hawaii Island.

Woven into the heart of the 29th annual spring concert will be a reprise of two songs from the KCS’s Black History Month concert, a free performance back in February at St. Michael’s Church. Duprey explained that she chose two compositions that were written by living composers, “Lord I Know I’ve Been Changed,” and “Wade in the Water.”

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Duprey went on the explain that the journey from Fauré to Hawaiian, will continue to touch the hearts of other cultures. In June, Na Puukani, a collaborative choral tour group comprised of members of KCS and WCS, will embark on a New Zealand tour and bring with them the moving message of this concert’s repertoire. Together with other New Zealand chorus groups, the tour will include performances in Auckland and Christchurch and will be the capstone of the society’s 2019 season.

Info: Tickets are $25 general admission and $10 for students and can be purchased at konachoralsociety.com or at Kona Stories Book Store. Tickets for $50 reserved seating are only available online. For more information, contact konachoralsociety@gmail.com.

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