Category Archives: invitation to sing

Sing with HCC members at Carnegie Hall in 2020

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Hilo Community Chorus members are traveling to NYC in 2020 to sing at Carnegie Hall with DCINY .  Space may be still available; if you would like to join our group, do not contact DCINY directly as stated in the image above; instead please contact HCC music director Tom McAlexander: tommac@hawaii.rr.com or (808) 985-7192

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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.

Rehearsals begin August 27 for Fall Season, All Welcome

Rehearsals will begin on Monday, August 27, from 6:30- 8:30 PM at the UH-H rehearsal room (click link to view location in Google Maps). We will then meet each Monday evening (except Labor Day) until our December 1 concert. Come early to get your music, pay your dues/music fee, and find your seat. Dues are still $45 per semester, and music fee this semester is $30 (total $75). Please pay by check (no cash accepted) made payable to Hilo Community Chorus.  Scholarships available; no one will be turned away for inability to pay.

New singers are welcome. There is no audition, and no previous choral experience is required.  The only requirement is a commitment to attend Monday rehearsals each week and to practice one hour a week outside of rehearsal if needed.

I am attaching the fall program numbers with links to listening websites. Tatyana Shapiro-Leiste will be with us playing harp for the Arnesen piece. For those of you who don’t know or know of her, here’s a link to her playing on YouTube:

Hilo Community Chorus music for December, 2018:

Arnesen: The Christmas Alleluias

Hayes: International Carol Suites; Carols of the Americas:


Rutter: In Dulci Jubilo:

Rutter: Sans Day Carol:

Rutter: Child in a Manger:

Rutter: Flemish Carol:

 

In addition to our main concert, we will also participate in the University holiday concert and offer our annual Messiah Sing-along (these events are optional).

Summary of Fall Season dates:

Monday, August 27, at 6:30 p.m. – First rehearsal for our December 1 concert at the UH-Hilo rehearsal room. Come early to pick up your music and pay your dues/music fee ($75 total).

Wednesday, August 29 at 6:30 p.m. – Optional rehearsal at Christ Lutheran Church, 595 Kapiolani, for the Rutter “The Lord Is My Shepherd” for those of you who choose to sing with my Church Choir on September 2. You are all invited to sing with us.

Sunday, September 2 at 10:30 a.m. – Optional service at Christ Lutheran Church, with choir singing “The Lord Is My Shepherd. Call time for run-through is 10:10 a.m.

Monday, September 3 – No rehearsal – Labor Day (We’ll rehearse all other Mondays at 6:30 p.m.)

Thursday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. – Rehearsal at First United Protestant Church (above Hilo Medical Center and Kaiser). This will be our only rehearsal with our harpist before concert day.

Saturday, December 1 at 3:00 p.m. – Concert at First United Protestant Church. Call time is 1:30 p.m.

Monday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m. – Rehearsal at UH-H for music we’ll sing with the University choruses on Sunday, December 9.

Saturday, December 8, at noon ’til about 5:00 p.m. – Rehearsal with University choruses.

Sunday, December 9 at 2:00 p.m. – Concert with University Choruses. (Call time probably at noon).

Monday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. at UH-H rehearsal room – Rehearsal for Messiah sing along.

Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. – Rehearsal for Messiah sing along at First United Protestant Church.

Sunday, December 16 at 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. (depending on schedule of instrumentalists) – Messiah sing along at First United Protestant Church.

Tuesday, December 25 – Have a very merry Christmas!

For more information email Tom McAlexander at tommac@hawaii.rr.com or call (808) 985-7192

Aloha,  — Tom

REHEARSALS START MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2018, 6:30 PM, ALL WELCOME

The first rehearsal for spring 2018 will be Monday, January 22, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at the UH-Hilo rehearsal room (click link to open Google Maps window).

Our Spring program will be a May joint concert with the University choruses. The exact date of the concert is not confirmed yet, but it will most likely be in the early part of May 2018. Jointly we will perform Requiem by John Rutter.  The second half of the concert (or perhaps first half) will be both of the University choruses and our chorus singing fifteen minute programs. Ours will be “The Last Words of David” by Randall Thompson and “My Heart Is Inditing” by Handel.

New singers are welcome. There is no audition, and no previous choral experience is required.  The only requirement is a commitment to attend Monday rehearsals each week and to practice one hour a week outside of rehearsal if needed.

Requiem scores will be available for purchase at the rehearsal for $10. Dues remain at $45 per semester, so make your check out to Hilo Community Chorus for $55 if you need a copy of the score; or $45 if you already have your own score.  (No singer will be turned away due to inability to pay, ask our treasurer about scholarships when you arrive.) The additional two pieces can be printed at home; email for pdfs.

For more information email Tom McAlexander at tommac@hawaii.rr.com or call (808) 985-7192

 

Fall 2017 Rehearsals Start August 28, All Welcome

Aloha everyone,

The music is here and we are ready to begin rehearsals for the fall. All we need is for the time to pass, as our first rehearsal will be Monday, August 28, at 6:30 pm at the UH-Hilo rehearsal room (click link to open Google Maps window). They’ve been working on the room during the summer, so the A/C shouldn’t blow directly on singers any more. The concert will be on the afternoon of Saturday, December 2, at First United Protestant Church (above Kaiser) in Hilo.

There will be NO REHEARSAL on Labor Day, September 4, and rehearsals will resume the following Monday, September 11.

The program will include Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen’s Magnificat (with Amy Horst as soprano soloist) and Mark Hayes’ International Carol Suites –Nos. I – III (with soloists from the Chorus). You can listen to the Arnesen here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWaQ2Fh7xzlNMYKVWLAZ8sLIv13AoM3wE, and the Hayes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbMuAa0cSzQ. (Kim is one of my Facebook friends. Although he doesn’t really know me from Adam, it was through my Facebook friendship with Joe Martin that we got him to come and conduct us in concert. Who knows what the future may bring with Kim?)

The semester dues remain at $45 and the music cost is $25. Please pay by check ($70) made payable to “Hilo Community Chorus.” Since we only had 42 singers for our spring semester, I only ordered 50 copies of the music (I usually order 60). So the music will be on a first come/first served basis. We will not save music, but if you have to miss the first rehearsal(s), you may have a friend purchase the music for you. We will order any extra copies we may need, but it may take a few weeks to receive it. Incidentally, the dues are waived for full-time college and high school students.

For those of you going with me to New York in January, I am still awaiting word from DCINY, and I’m sure that they are still awaiting word from Sir Karl. I assure you that we will have sufficient rehearsals to learn the music before we go. Meanwhile, the second $200 payment is due in mid-August, so please send me your checks made payable to “Hilo Community Chorus,” with memo note “DCINY.” My address is PO Box 383, Volcano, HI 96785. I will send them in bulk to our treasurer so he can send one check to DCINY.

I’m looking forward to a great season with some great music.

Aloha,
Tom

Upcoming Opportunity- Sing at Karl Jenkins Premiere in Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International NY – Winter 2018

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from Tom McAlexander, Music Director:

“It was a cold January in 2008 when 25 singers from the Hilo Community Chorus (along with another 18 from the University, of which we were still a part), traveled to New York for the inaugural concert of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) featuring music of (Sir) Karl Jenkins (He has since been knighted). We had just performed his Requiem in Hilo, and they were looking for American choruses which had performed the work to sing at Carnegie Hall. Our conductor was DCINY’s co-founder and principal conductor Jonathan Griffith–one of the world’s great choral and orchestra conductors. (The other work on the program was Sir Karl’s The Armed Man.) I don’t believe any one of us complained about the cold. It was one of the highlights of our lives. And, we had plenty of time to see a few Broadway plays and eat in some great restaurants. About half of our singers who went to New York that first year are still members of the Chorus.

Since that time small groups or individuals from our Chorus have traveled to New York and other parts of the world to sing with DCINY choruses. It is always worth whatever it costs. Emma had always said she didn’t want to go–she had seen New York. Then she went. She even sat in on our rehearsal with Dr. Griffith. Couldn’t believe how much he was able to do with the large chorus he was working with. Now she wants to go back. So do I.

DCINY is not like other concert promoters. Although they can be of assistance in getting housing, travel, etc., that is not their focus. Their focus is concerts and education. We have always handled our logistics ourselves, individually, and it has worked out great. We can stay at five star hotels or at hostels. We can eat at five star restaurants or small delis. We have to be in New York for rehearsals on Friday and Saturday and concert on Sunday (if my recollection is correct–maybe it’s Saturday and Sunday rehearsals with concert on Monday), but evenings are free and we can stay as long as we want. The latest figures I have for two clinical rehearsals, a dress rehearsal, and concert at Carnegie Hall is $840 per singer unless we have 10 or more, then it’s $790 per singer. VIP travelers (or as I call ‘em, tag-alongs) cost half that amount, and they can have access to our rehearsals as well to the gala party that follows (the real reason I want to go). Or the tag-alongs can just go, purchase a ticket to the concert, and skip the gala.

January 2018 will mark DCINY’s tenth anniversary, and they will once again feature music of Sir Karl in their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. concert. I wrote to Iris Derke, co-founder and general director of DCINY and got this reply “And Aloha to you too Tom! Your beautiful words mean the world to me….especially that you remember our impending 10th anniversary. Having you and your singers with us for the grand opening of an extraordinary decade will be a cherry on top! Bravo!! Yes yes — Sir Karl will be with us in January of 2018 ”

For this 10th anniversary, we were first notified that Sir Karl would compose a 10-minute piece. That has changed. He now is in the process of composing a full-length work (probably 40-45 minutes long) titled “Sing, the Music Was Given” based on a poem by Thomas Moore entitled “Sing–Sing–Music Was Given.” So, for a change, Sir Karl is not composing a religious piece, but one about music. I wonder how many of you have ever sung a major world premiere work–and at Carnegie Hall. OK, I’m stoked!

Let’s make 2018 a really big year and start it in New York singing at Carnegie Hall! Aloha, — Tom”

UPDATE MARCH 2017–We presently have more than 10 singers from Hilo signed up for this trip (so we are at the reduced rate of $790) and more singers are welcome. It is not too late to sign up…yet. DCINY will continue to accept singers until their quota (usually around 250 singers) is met. I am to notify them of any new singers, but I won’t do so until we receive your first deposit check ($200 made payable to “Hilo Community Chorus” with memo note “for DCINY trip” or something similar). Community singers not presently singing with HCC but wishing to sing in this event as guests of our group, please contact Tom.  At a later date we will also ask how many accompanying non-singers will go with us.

For more information email Tom McAlexander at tommac@hawaii.rr.com or call (808) 985-7192

(photo from NYconcertreview.com)

Invitation to Sing – Messiah Parts 2&3, Spring 2017, Rehearsals start January 9, All Welcome

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2017 marks the 275th anniversary of the premiere of Handel’s Messiah. For the 1742 premiere of Messiah in Dublin, it is estimated that Handel had a combined ensemble of approximately 50 performers, with almost the same number of vocalists as instrumentalists. Experienced singers from the better church choirs made up the chorus; two different soloists shared the roles for each voice part. While the chorus had no female singers, the soprano and alto solo parts were sung by women.

The Hilo Community Chorus will present Parts II & III of Messiah in concert on Sunday, May 21 at the Palace Theater in Hilo with chorus, organ, continuo, and trumpets. Choral rehearsals will begin at 6:30 pm on Monday, January 9, at the UH-Hilo rehearsal room (next to the Performing Arts Center, click link to view location on Google Maps)

The Hilo Community Chorus is a non-auditioned community-based chorus directed by Tom McAlexander and accompanied by Walter Greenwood. Anyone who loves to sing choral music and is willing to devote two hours each week for rehearsals is welcome to join. Dues are $45 for the semester, and music cost is $8 for the Leonard Van Camp Messiah score. Scholarships available if cost would prevent you from singing. For more information, call McAlexander on 985-7192 or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.