Music Roundup

From singers and instrumentalists in the lower grades to the Academy, campus is alive with the sound of music

Alec Schumacker Visits CMS Choirs

Dr. Alec Schumacker, newly appointed Director of Choral Activities at UH Mānoa, visited all five sections of the CMS choral program in mid-April. He gave a clinic on his commissioned composition “Ka Punahou,” with lyrics by Alaia Kinzer ’30, that will be premiered at the upcoming Kapuana Choral Festival on Friday, May 10. Dr. Schumacker elevated the singers’ understanding of concepts such as vocal technique and phrasing, and students were able to spend time asking the composer questions about his music and career.

Pictured from left, CMS music faculty with Dr. Schumacker: Lauren Kanoelani Chang ʻ01 Williams, Linda Asahina, John Roberts, Alicia Scanlan, Dr. Alec Schumacker, Joanna Habermann, Mia Porreca

CMS Honor Choir Students Perform in California

Twenty one Punahou middle school students traveled to Pasadena, California, in March to participate in the American Choral Directors Association Western Division Honor Choirs. Two sixth grade students sang with the Elementary Honor Choir and 19 seventh and eighth graders sang with the Youth SATB Honor Choir. Students spent two and a half days in rehearsals with fellow singers from California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Hawaiʻi, and then performed for family, friends and conference attendees on Saturday, March 7

Notable Jazz Guitarist Visits the Academy

Stanley Jordan, renowned jazz guitarist, visited Punahou on March 12 while on tour for a performance at the Blue Note. He inspired advanced guitar students with his musical talents in music faculty member Darin Au’s class. 

K – 1 Songwriter in Residence

John Farrell, internationally acclaimed songwriter, author and peace educator from New York, returned to Punahou March 11 – 13 to lead songwriting workshops with all K – 1 classes with music teacher Amanda Lippert. He performed with wife Ann Marie for the children and also led songwriting workshops in music class. The visit was a follow-up to a series of Zoom sessions with the first graders who he helped create a place-based and child-centered set of songs for their first grade spring program, “Common Threads,” that they presented to parents, families and the community on March 8 in Chapel. 

Grade 1 Spring Program

The first grade Spring Program showcased the entire grade’s talents on stage in the Chapel on March 8 through songs they helped write, props, instruments and movement.

Grade 5 Production of “The Claw”

Fifth graders dazzled in “The Claw,” a humorous musical production about toys inside an arcade claw game, on March 8.

Hawaiian Music Ensembles Hōʻike 2024

The Hawaiian Ensemble courses, under the guidance of Punahou music teacher Jay Koseki, are gearing up for their showcase on April 9, 2024, at 6 p.m. in Twigg-Smith Pavilion. With the added expertise of Kimo Keaulana, students are diligently rehearsing to deliver an unforgettable performance.

Middle School Choral Festival

Forty members of the Punahou Seventh Grade Choir participated in the 2024 Nā Leo Pili Mai Middle School Choral Festival on Feb. 24 at Kawaiahaʻo Church. Punahou students joined eight other choirs from O’ahu and Maui, including Kapolei Middle School Choir and Seabury Hall Spartan Singers, for the half-day event.

The 200 students rehearsed under direction of clinician Susan McCreary Duprey and participated in a hula workshop with Punahou music teacher and Kumu Hula Lauren Kaneolani Chang ’01 Williams. They then performed a welcoming oli “E Aloha E;” the upbeat “We’re Goin’ Around,” sung in honor of Black History Month; and the lyrical “No Ka Beauty o Honokōhau,” performed to honor Maui. The final concert featured individual performances from select choirs. Under the direction of Punahou music teacher John Roberts, Punahou seventh graders sang a beautiful rendition of “I Have a Voice,” a song with an anti-bullying message.

Punahou students who attended the event enjoyed meeting and building community with fellow choral singers, and hearing different choirs from around the State. Middle School Choral Director Joanna Habermann organized this year’s festival. The event was jointly sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and the Hawai’i Youth Opera Chorus.

Hawai‘i’s High School Choral Festival

A round of applause for our 22 Punahou Academy Choir stars from Chorale and Elements who shined at Na Leo Hou, Hawai‘i’s High School Choral Festival on Feb. 17. They joined 350 students representing 12 choral programs from Kauai, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island, making music under the direction of Erica Glenn from BYU. The festival was co-sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association, Hawaii Chapter (ACDA-HI) and Brigham Young University, Hawai‘i.

Grade 7 Musical Exchange

Seventh Grade Treble Choir enjoyed a musical exchange and choral performance on Feb. 14 with a group of high school singers from southern California, who were touring O‘ahu. La Cañada High School Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jeffrey Brookey, impressed Punahou students with their a cappella harmonies, advanced repertoire and excellent choral singing. The Punahou choral singers in turn performed ‘oli, songs and hula for the visitors. The exchange concluded with Punahou students teaching the guests a Hawaiian song, “No Ka Beauty o Honokōhau.” “We are so grateful that this group from the Pasadena area came to visit Punahou,” said Joanna Habermann, 6 – 8 grade music faculty member.

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