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KMS rocks the rafters with free holiday concert

December 12, 2013 - 5:20pm

The Old Kona Airport Park Makaeo Events Pavilion will be alive with music from around the world during Kona Music Society’s third annual holiday concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22.

Artistic Director and Conductor Susan Duprey will present a holiday stocking overflowing with music from Sweden, Germany, Africa, Puerto Rico, England, Israel, and most definitely, from Hawaii.

The concert will include the Hawaii Island premier of Malcolm Dalglish’s suite, the Appalachian carols of “Star in the East,” with hammered dulcimer virtuoso, Patti Amelotte.

The grand finale, as always, will be the community-sing-along ending in the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” In past years, the chorus and the Kona community together have rocked the rafters of the pavilion.

All songs will be performed in their original language by the 70 voices of the Kona Music Society Chorus and the 30 voices of the Kona Music Society Youth Chorus. The Youth Chorus, under the direction of Marinella Savarese and accompanied by Gloria Juan, has been practicing weekly. Their performance, in seasonal costumes, is always a crowd-pleasing highlight of the annual concerts as families gather to listen to their keiki. The voices will be accompanied by a talented orchestra of percussion, brass, woodwinds, string and keyboard players.

Amelotte is widely considered one of the top hammered dulcimer players in the world today. A California resident, she has performed throughout the world, at music festivals, with orchestras such as the San Diego Symphony, for movie scores, and throughout Europe, most recently in Budapest. The hammered dulcimer is a wooden trapezoid, played flat, set up with strings like a harp, and is sounded like a xylophone by tapping the strings with a small hammer. It is ancient in design and it takes a lot of practice to play well. Amelotte is willing to go into schools and churches or give dulcimer lessons for an honorarium when she is in Hawaii. Those interested can email or visit

There is seating inside the pavilion and room for mats and blankets outside.The family-friendly event invites everyone to come celebrate and sing together. The event is free, but attendees are welcome to make a donation to the Kona Youth Chorus.

For further information, visit