12th Annual Messiah Sing-Along, Sunday, December 16, 2 PM, First United Protestant Church

During the dedication concert for a new organ at the Church of the Holy Cross in 2007, a germ of an idea occurred to Tom McAlexander that the Church would be a great place for a Messiah sing-along. At intermission he shared that idea with then Palace Theater organist Bob Alder, whose only remark was, “Yes. Make it happen.” So after making arrangements through Pastor Tom Olcott, the first annual Messiah sing-along took place in their sanctuary. The sing-along remained at Holy Cross until after Pastor Olcott retired, then in 2014 it was moved to Christ Lutheran Church. By request of Pastor Ron Kent of First United Protestant Church, this year it will be presented there as the concluding event of their 150th anniversary year celebrations.

Singer or not, everyone is invited to this sing-along. Audience members who wish to sing may bring their own score, or a copy may be borrowed at the door. Members of the Hilo Community Chorus will be strategically placed in the pews to act as section leaders (look for the soprano/alto/tenor/bass signs on the pews). Of course you may sit and sing wherever you wish or just enjoy the singing. The sing-along will also feature the most famous of all choruses, “Hallelujah,” and end with “Worthy Is the Lamb” and the final “Amen.” The event is free (with calabash), and everyone is welcome.

Conductor is Tom McAlexander and accompanists are Walter Greenwood, organ and Rick Mazurowski, piano. Soloists are Andrea Pelletier, soprano; Lisa Katherine Taylor, alto; Barry Brandes, bass; and Ian McMillan, tenor.

This event is co-sponsored by First United Protestant Church and the Hilo Community Chorus. The Church is located at 1350 Waianuenue Ave. (above the Hospital and Kaiser),  There will be two open rehearsals, one at the UH-Hilo rehearsal room on Monday, December 10, at 6:30 PM and the other at the Church on Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. Anyone who cares to join in for a refresher course before the sing-along is welcome. For more information, call Tom McAlexander, 985-7192, or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.

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Hilo Community Chorus Presents Free Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 1, 2018, 3 PM, at First United Protestant Church

The Hilo Community Chorus will present Norwegian composer Kim Andrè Arnesen’s “The Christmas Alleluias” with harp accompaniment by Tatyana Shapiro-Leiste and guest soloist Amy Horst on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at First United Protestant Church in Hilo (click link to open location in google maps). Also featured will be Suites IV (“Carols of Central and South America”) and V (“Carols of North America”) from Mark Hayes’ “International Carol Suites,” and a selection of carols arranged by John Rutter, all accompanied by Walter Greenwood, piano.

“The Christmas Alleluias” sets to music the work of librettist Euan Tait, whose text “Unfinished Remembering,” commemorating the outbreak of the First World War, was performed in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in 2014. He has worked extensively with Arnesen and other composers.

Guest soloist Amy Horst is well known to Hilo Audiences for her crystal clear soprano voice. She is Instructor in music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawaii – Hilo. She has been soloist with the Hilo Community Chorus on a number of occasions.

Tatyana Shapiro-Leiste is a professional, classically-trained concert harpist from St. Petersburg, Russia. She grew up in a musical family and graduated with a Master’s degree from the world-famous St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory of Music in 1998. After moving to the United States in 1999, she received her second Master’s degree and worked on her PhD in Music and Harp at the University of Arizona where she studied under Dr. Carrol McLaughlin. She was the principal harpist with the El Paso Opera Company and El Paso Symphony Orchestra and was part of the world’s largest harp touring ensemble “HarpFusion.” She has performed with a number of symphony orchestras. Tatyana has done recordings at Capital Records and at other recording sessions. She has also performed on TV, most recently at “Dancing with the Stars.”

“International Carol Suites” is a work of five geographically themed suites representing 20 countries. The chorus performed the first three suites last year, and the two remaining suites, which will be performed in this concert, include carols from Venezuela, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the United States. Soloists from the Chorus will be Danielle Kwami, Belinda Hall, Pressley Sutherland, Kevin Reardon, and Adrianna Zablan.

Composer/arranger John Rutter is one of the most recognized names in Christmas music. The collection to be performed include “Child in a Manger,” “Flemish Carol,” “Sans Day Carol,” and “In dulce jubilo” (which was edited by Rutter but this arrangement is by R. L. Pearsall). Soloists for “In dulce jubilo” from the Chorus are Adrianna Zablan, Joan Derbyshire, Connie Leyendecker, Roni Koscik, Len Miyazono, Pressley Sutherland, Doug Albertson, and Mike Kingston.

Hilo Community Chorus is a 501(c)(3) organization and is conducted by Tom McAlexander. For more information, call 985-7192 or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.