The members of the Sounds of Aloha Chorus were sad not to be rendezvousing early on the morning of Memorial Day 2020 to ride a bus up to Punchbowl crater, as we have been doing now for several years. We alway find the Mayor's Memorial Day Ceremony both poignant and inspirational. But we still managed to find a way to observe the occasion! Below is the message that we sent out with our second recording as a "virtual chorus," which you can watch and hear by clicking here:
Sounds of Aloha's blog
Separated from one another's voices, and trying to bring a little musical comfort to our friends and neighbors while we all ride out the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sounds of Aloha Chorus decided to cobble together a virtual performance from their individual homes. We were overjoyed to be rejoined by some of our long-distance members, from as far away as our friend Sig Rønbeck above the Arctic Circle in Norway!
Here's the message we sent out on April 11, 2020, and which we extend to you:
The Sounds of Aloha Chorus hopes all of our friends are faring well during these difficult and disruptive times.
This is the week the Sounds of Aloha Chorus embarks for Modesto, California, to take part in the Far Western District Convention and Competition of the Barbershop Harmony Society, October 10-13, 2019. And what a special evening we had on our normal rehearsal night this past Thursday, October 3, when we performed our two-song competition package a couple of times for our families and some of our closest friends, fans, and supporters at the Ala Wai Golf Course Clubhouse ballroom! In barbershop we call this traditional pre-competition dress rehearsal "Friends & Family Night," and this was one to remember.
The Sounds of Aloha again proudly helped commemorate fallen U.S. military service members, at the 70th Annual Mayor's Memorial Day Ceremony on May 27, 2019 at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Puowaina (Punchbowl Crater). Along with the Royal Hawaiian Band, the chorus has become a fixture at this moving event, musically speaking. In addition to Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other dignitaries, this year's honored guest was U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M. Richardson, whose service record, it was noted, includes command of the submarine U.S.S. Honolulu.
"Ice cream, ice cream, ice creaaaam!" A fun time was had by all at the Sounds of Aloha's annual Ice Cream Social, dubbed "Sundaes on a Sunday," on May 19, 2019, at the McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Beach Park. Once again, attendees enjoyed all-you-can-eat Dave's Ice Cream with all the fixin's, other refreshments from our other generous sponsors, and best of all, lots of harmony and singing, up close and personal.
One of the Sounds of Aloha's favorite events of the whole year is when we get to listen to, and sing for, other choirs at the Community Choral Festival held by our friends in the Honolulu Chorale. The 2019 festival on April 28 was no exception, and once again, the individual groups and the event as whole were better than ever! The diversity of music that every group selected to share in its own set was especially impressive.
Today marks the departure from Hawaii of a Sounds of Aloha member with one of the longest and most influential legacies in Hawaii's barbershop community. Thurlow "De" DeCrow is moving to the Dallas, Texas area to live near his son Steve. He has been a member of the Sounds of Aloha Chorus for 66 years.
De was a fixture in the chorus baritone section, in various chorus leadership roles, and in a number of quartets, including the especially long-lived and well-known Tiki Tones and Sugarcane Express. SOA member Bill Joor stood on the opposite end of those two quartets, as the tenor, for a combined total of 40 years.
The Sounds of Aloha's annual Singing Valentines event was a big hit again in 2019, with love songs delivered all over Oahu to appreciative sweethearts! February 13 and 14 saw quartets deployed across the island bearing roses from Watanabe Floral, personalized cards from loved ones, and romantic serenades! 19th Avenue (with substitute bass Adam LeFebvre) spread the word about the event with the help of KHON TV's Wake Up 2day.
America's Filipino heroes of the Second World War are finally getting some overdue recognition nationally, and the Sounds of Aloha Chorus was thrilled to help by raising our voices in celebration at a very special occasion at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu! The chorus provided music for the January 26, 2019 award ceremony honoring Filipino veteran recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress's highest civilian honor.