The Sounds of Aloha Chorus deeply appreciates the chance to perform for our fellow Oahu choristers at the Community Chorus Festival, which is hosted each year by the Honolulu Chorale. This year marked the 15th annual festival, and the April 30, 2017, event at Kawaiaha‘o Church just might have been the strongest one yet, with ambitious and moving performances by all the participants. Wow! Besides our hosts, SOA was honored to perform along with the Choir of Kawaiaha'o Church, the Gay Men's Chorus of Honolulu, Kawaiolaōnāpukanileo, the Hawaiian Chorus of UH Manoa, a burgeoning Windward Choral Society, and our special guests, the Durango Choral Society from Colorado.
The finale of the performance was a mass sing of Gilbert M. Martin's arrangement of "Hawai'i Aloha," under the direction of Nola Nāhulu of the University of Hawaii, who directs three of the groups that performed at the festival. But we'll confess that one of the high points for us was when SOA director Mark Conching made all the singers assembled into honorary barbershoppers-for-a-day by teaching them a tag! For the uninitiated, a "tag" is how barbershoppers refer to the end of a barbershop song, and because they're short and teachable but make for some awesome sound and cool chord worship, you can find us teaching them and singing them into the wee hours. In addition to the songs we sang, it was fun to introduce so many singers to this unique aspect of our musical and social culture!