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.
Over 100 people joined us to provide a live audience for us to practice with, and they could not have been more gracious and enthusiastic in their appreciation and support. We were especially grateful, as always, for strong turnout and support from our sisters-in-harmony, Na Leo Lani and Honolulu Blend. Our own Tim Hopkins once again put the "master" in "master of ceremonies" as he explained the whole contest scenario to the audience, set the perfect stage for the run-throughs, and filled the space for chorus and quartet preparations, costume changes, and entrances and exits with off-the-cuff but entertaining and touching stories and reflections on this hobby and fellowship we love. Tim also took a moment to share wiith the audience our enormous gratitude to our friends at the Hawaii Theatre Center and the Atherton Family Foundation for having opened the Hawaii Theatre to us for some more dress rehearsing on a real stage (and in a magnificent venue!) the previous Thursday and Saturday.
Everybody also got to hear the four quartets who are on their way to the quartet competition (down from the initially planned five). While Funny Bones has been together for a while, VHF, Tropic Knights, and Hawaiian Time are newly formed or reconfigured combinations for this competition, so this event was their debut!
Musical Director Mark Conching ended our performance by expressing the depth of our gratitude to our supportive and understanding families, and from our fans, who have not seen as much of us recently as we have produced fewer shows than in past years, and yet who still were there in such strength to share in some harmony. They and we are excited to share this performance with our continental counterparts!