The Kona Music Society, in celebration of their 25th anniversary, has rebranded with a new logo and a name change. Now called the Kona Choral Society, the community choral company has realigned their image with their foundational roots.
“Our name didn’t define who we are,” said Artistic Director Susan McCreary Duprey, now in her fifth year at the helm of the 75-member chorus. “Now the new name shares our mission; a group of people that love to sing.”
In the new logo, the word Kona is prominently displayed in large type in a vibrant red color. The O of the word has been crafted into a treble clef with the G-shape of the clef transitioning into brown as the tail takes the shape of a coffee bean.
Gloria Juan, KCS accompanist, said the new logo gives the organization a visual sense of place by using the color red, which traditionally represents Hawaii Island, and the illustration of the coffee bean draws on an international association with Kona.
Founded in the fall of 1990 by Ken Staton, former Chair of the Performing Arts Department at UH-Hilo, the first rehearsal of the then Kona Community Chorus drew 50 curious singers to the Central Kona Union Church. A few short months later, the all-volunteer chorus performed their first holiday concert. A quarter century later, KCS continues to showcase masterworks and local traditions to the community. Juan noted that the inclusion of local traditional and world music has been a fairly recent addition to the once classical-heavy repertoire. In addition to the musical collection changes, the chorus has seen an increase in member participation and audience attendance, the addition of a youth program, increase in the concert season schedule, and international tour dates.
This celebratory season will serve as a reflection of the past, while envisioning the future, guided by a bright new image and a meaningful new name.
“As we celebrate our 25th year as a community chorus, we will be honoring our society throughout the entire season,” Duprey said. “For our winter concert we wanted to present something special, so with our chorus historian searching the archives we decided to duplicate KCS’s first winter concert.”
The original December playbill included J.S. Bach’s Christmas Cantata and excerpts from Franz Schubert’s Mass in G. The 2014 holiday show will present the same line-up, along with their annual popular rendition of Handel’s Messiah and other traditional carol favorites.
Throughout the concert season the community chorus will showcase their musical and physical growth, through island cruise ship performances, four annual concerts, open houses, national and international travel, local musical collaborations. The continued musical development is not only because of Duprey’s dedicated and influential directorial style, but also because of what the conductor describes as compelling and positive vocal performances, and enthusiasm.
Looking forward, the organization plans to continue to advance their partnerships with community music organizations, including the Kamuela Philharmonic, as well as state performance-based associations. In an effort to promote musical advancement for children, KCS plans to expand the outreach component of their youth program to link with public schools to promote musical study.
“Our vision is to see KCS infused into the public schools to offer music in the classrooms — similar to the ‘artist in our schools’ program,” Juan said. “Having KCS develop a music program in partnership with the Department of Education would be one way to ensure that children have a means to make music a part of their lives.”
Juan knows first-hand how music has a lasting benefit on children’s development, including building an understanding and love for music, choral abilities, and practical life skills, such as cooperation, perseverance, and self-confidence.
The advancement of live musical performance and increased partnerships with the community is what Duprey calls the kuleana, the responsibility, of the program.
“Our community chorus is presenting creative ways to share music in a joyful way,” Duprey said.
The KCS welcomes interested vocalists to attend the upcoming Open House at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Kealakehe Intermediate Band Room. As the annual kick-off to the season, new members are encouraged to join in an evening geared towards interested singers. For more information visit konamusicsociety.org, call 334-9880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014-2015 Kona Choral Society Schedule:
Open House: Sept. 3 at Kealakehe Intermediate Band Room, 5:30 p.m.
Fall Retreat: Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Schubert Mass in G/Messiah Concert: Dec. 7 at the Sheraton Keauhou Resort, 4 p.m.
Old Airport Concerts: Dec. 20 and 21 at the Old Airport, 4 p.m.
Spring Open House: Jan. 14 at Kealakehe Intermediate Band Room, 5:30 p.m.
Spring Concert: May 17