Category Archives: invitation to sing

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


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

Upcoming Opportunity- Sing Verdi Requiem in Barcelona, Spain with Jonathan Griffith Singers, July 2017

Barcelona-image-3Hilo Community Chorus members are invited to participate in the Jonathan Griffith Singers 10-day tour to Barcelona in July, 2017 (click this link for more information).   The music is Verdi’s Requiem, and 2 performances are planned.

Jonathan’s tours are always of the highest quality.  Professional orchestras and soloists are featured.  Participants stay in 4 and 5-star hotels, and comfortable ground transportation is provided. Some meals are included in the price.  This is a wonderful opportunity to sing in one of the most beautiful cities of the world, and along with Jonathan’s fantastic (and fun!) workshops and conducting, you will find that this is a musical experience not to be missed!

Land cost:  $2700, if paid in full; $2800, if paid in 5 installments; $2900, if paid in 10 installments

Space is limited; “sopranos and altos who are also able to bring a quality tenor or bass will be given priority.”

“In South America we visited a winery in Uruguay, and sang in the 19th century opera house. We took a ferry across to Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires we went to a professional tango performance and sang in a basilica in the Italian quarter. This concert is the absolute highlight of anyplace I’ve ever sung. The audience was brought to tears, and I confess I was too, to hear the last note ringing above us in the church for what seemed like forever.”

“In Turkey we had 3 performances, in Eskisahir, the home of the poet Yunus Emre, whose music we were singing, in Ankara, and in Istanbul. In Istanbul we took a boat tour of the strait between Europe and Asia.”

“We had professional orchestras and singers on both tours. We sounded good, but together with the professionals, we sounded great!”

“No tour is complete without sampling local culture and food. If I can say just one thing about Jonathan (besides his musical talents), it’s that he’s all about having fun!”

“Others in our group have also traveled with Jonathan: ask any of them if they would go again. I’m sure they will say yes!”

-submitted by Mahealani

Fall Rehearsals begin Monday 8/29/2016 for December 2016 concerts – New Singers Welcome

“…What it’s like when human beings are in harmony….that’s a lesson for our times and for all times….” —John Rutter, quoted from the above video on “The Importance of Choir” (please press the “play” button on the above image to watch).  We will be singing John Rutter’s Magnificat as the first half of our December concert.

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.  Individual practice parts of Magnificat can be found on Cyberbass (

Rehearsals are at the usual UH rehearsal room (click here for location on Google Maps) on Monday nights from 6:30- 8:30PM. First Fall rehearsal is Monday 8/29/2016. NO REHEARSAL MONDAY NIGHT 9/5 (LABOR DAY WEEKEND).

If you have already paid for the Magnificat during the optional summer rehearsals, you should bring a check for $61 ($45 for dues and $16 for music). If you have not already paid for the Magnificat, you should bring a check for $69 ($45 for dues and $24 for music). Please bring checks made payable to “Hilo Community Chorus.”  Scholarships available on request.

Below, you’ll find the December program music links (which also gives the titles/composers of the music).

In “God’s Love Made Visible” the children’s choir from Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences in Pahoa under the direction of Lisa Lilja Wells is scheduled to perform with us. They will also be invited to sing two or three songs on their own.

The last six numbers are all Hanukkah songs.

Our main concert date is Saturday, December 3 at 2:00 pm, at First United Protestant Church, Hilo HI.

Hilo Community Chorus will also again participate in the Holiday Concert at the University of Hilo Performing Arts Center on Sunday, December 11, 2PM.

The annual Messiah sing-along will be on Sunday, December 18, at 2:00 PM at Christ Lutheran Church, Hilo HI.

NEW THIS YEAR: we will be participating as well in the holiday show at the Palace Theater also on Sunday, December 18, more details to be announced.

December program preview:

Magnificat – John Rutter

Christmas Day – Gustav Holst

Fantasia on Christmas Carols – Ralph Vaughan Williams

God’s Love Made Visible – Dave Brubeck

Candlelight Canon – Andy Beck

We Are Lights – Stephen Schwartz

Dai Diddle Dai – David Eddleman

Hanukkah, the Season of Lights – Vicki Tucker Courtney

Hanukkah Wish – Audrey Snyder

Hanerot Halalu (Light the Candles) – Becki Slagle Mayo

For more information contact Tom McAlexander
at or (808) 985-7192

Summer Rehearsals in Progress for December 2016 Concert

Optional summer rehearsals began on June 13 and continue every other (alternate) Mondays throughout the summer (June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22). Summer rehearsals are optional and are specifically for John Rutter’s Magnificat to get a head start on this rather challenging music. Rehearsals are at the usual UH rehearsal room (click here for location on Google Maps) from 6:30- 8:30PM.  Summer dues will be $15 and music fee is $8. The music fee is just for the Rutter.  Interested singers can join the summer rehearsals at any time.

Our regular Fall rehearsals for the December concert will begin on Monday, August 29, 2016.

Rehearsals Begin January 25, 2016 for Spring Program, New Singers Welcome

Hilo Community Chorus Rehearsals Begin January 25

The Hilo Community Chorus will present a choral concert featuring two requiems this spring. Rehearsals will begin at 6:30 pm on Monday, January 25, at the UH-Hilo rehearsal room (next to the Performing Arts Center) and continue each Monday until concert time. Music for the concert includes Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living and Luigi Cherubini’s Requiem in C minor. 

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as “a composer of substance” (Columbus Dispatch), whose works have been hailed as “…magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (San Francisco Classical Voice), and “superb choral writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). Since its first publication in 2001, Dan’s music has sold more than a million copies, and is already firmly established in the repertoire of choirs in the U.S. and abroad. Dan’s choral works have received numerous awards and distinctions, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, a Meet The Composer grant, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others. His Requiem for the Living has quickly become his best-known work, having received overwhelming acclaim since its 2013 premiere, and is receiving hundreds of performances in the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and multiple performances in Carnegie Hall.

Cherubini’s Requiem in C minor was commissioned by King Louis XVIII of France for a memorial service for King Louis XVI who was beheaded during the Revolution. It was admired by Beethoven and performed at his funeral. Schumann praised it as being “without equal in the world.”

The Hilo Community Chorus is a 501(c)(3) non profit, 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 for the spring semester are $35 and music is $17 for a total of $52 payable by check (no cash please) to Hilo Community Chorus on registration.  Financial assistance available upon request.  A 3 ring binder will be needed for the Cherubini; a limited number of binders will be available for purchase.  Practice parts for the Cherubini can be accessed at Cyberbass here. For more information, call McAlexander on 985-7192 or email

click here to open new window showing rehearsal room location at Google Maps

Preview Spring 2015 Program “Old Chestnuts”

Here’s a preview of our upcoming Spring 2015 choral program featuring “Old Chestnuts.” Click on the title to go to a Youtube link for the piece. Rehearsals begin Monday, January 12, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. New singers welcome… come join us !

1. Tallis; 1505-1585; If Ye Love Me 2:09
2. Vivaldi; 1678-1741; Gloria 8:43
3. Handel; 1685-1759; Thine Be the Glory 2:57
4. Handel; 1685-1759; Hallelujah Amen 1:57
5. Bach; 1685-1750; Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring 3:42
6. Bach; 1685-1750; O Sacred Head Now Wounded 2:46
7. Haydn; 1732-1809; The Heavens Are Telling 4:52
8. Mozart; 1756-1791; Ave Verum 3:30
9. Mozart; 1756-1791; Laudate Dominum 3:56
10. Beethoven; 1770-1827; Hallelujah 4:35
11. Mendelssohn; 1809-1847; He Watching Over Israel 3:49
12. Mendelssohn; 1809-1847; And Then Shall Your Light Break Forth 3:11
13. Mendelssohn; 1809-1847; How Lovely Are the Messengers 3:15
14. Gounod; 1818-1893; O Divine Redeemer 5:24
15. Franck; 1822-1890; Panis Angelicus 5:16
16. Brahms; 1833-1897; How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place 5:52
17. Stainer; 1840-1901; God So Loved the World 3:27
18. Thompson; 1899-1984; The Last Words of David 4:07
19. Jenkins; 1944- ; Ave Verum 4:34

rehearsal room location at Google Maps