Sounds of Aloha's blog
The Sounds of Aloha Chorus was honored to continue its long tradition of contributing a big part of the musical program for the Mayor's Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl or Pūowaina). This year's ceremony was again well attended by military, governmental, and diplomatic dignitaries and numerous veterans' and other civic organizations, as well as by families of those who have sacrificed for the nation. The program also included the Royal Hawaiian Band, a flyover by the Hawaii Air National Guard, and speeches by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the U.S. Navy's first Asian-American Admiral, Harry B.
Dun-dun-DUNN! SOA's May 21, 2016 original comedy "True Defective - A Musical Whodunnit!" was a mystery, a comedy, a radio show, and an a cappella concert all in one, and from all accounts that unusual combination proved a hit with our audience! Written by SOA member and Po'okela-award-winning playwright Scot Izuka, the farce tells the story of how the Sounds of Aloha Chorus and its special guest quartet Vocal Spectrum are guests on radio station KORD when the quartet is kidnapped. Dun-dun-DUNN! As the mystery unwinds, SOA attempts to fill in on the station's regularly scheduled mystery drama show, "Bethel Street Blues," while the show's cast members are away trying their hand at solving the real life case.
The Sounds of Aloha Chorus was thrilled at the reception we received for our 2015 Christmas Show, the hilarious original production, "Santa needs an Ukulele!" Created by our very own in-house playwright and bass section member, Scot Izuka, the December 6 performances at Windward Community College's Paliku Theatre told the story of how Santa's head elf and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer enlist the aid of some Hawaii menehune (played by guest actors Kimo Albarado and Karen Kuioka Hironaga) to procure some needed musical gifts for a couple of deserving Hawaii keiki. The event featured performances by SOA's quartets, a number with the entire chorus playing ukulele, and even an audience ukulele play-along!
About 25 male high school-aged singers from across Oahu were part of an awesome a cappella experience on November 6 and 7 at the Orvis Auditorium at the University of Hawaii at Manoa: they participated in the second A Cappella Academy organized by the Sounds of Aloha Chorus. This free two-day event featured visiting clinicians OCTimes, the thrilling 2008 International Champion Quartet of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
SOA was immensely proud to participate as musical guests in honoring Japanese-Americans who served in the famed 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399 Engineer Construction Battalion, at the Annual Joint Memorial Service at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater on September 27, 2015. These heroes gave their all for America at a time when their own country viewed their community with suspicion, and it was especially moving to hear about how they rescued Lithuanian Jews from the Nazis at a time when some of their own families were living behind barbed wire back at home.
The Sounds of Aloha Chorus is delighted to welcome Mark Conching back as our musical director. Mark directed the chorus from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2004 to 2010. With the recent return to the Mainland of our beloved musical director Bonnie McKibben, SOA was incredibly fortunate that Mark's circumstances allowed him to step back down off the risers and stand in front once again.