Spring concert takes audience on international journey


The Kona Music Society is taking an international journey in its annual spring concert at 4 p.m. April 27 at the Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay. Steered by an indigenous beat, the rhythmic voyage will begin with Ariel Ramirez’s famed Latin Mass “Misa Criolla,” then travel around the world with the Youth Chorus’ global repertoire, and finish in Hawaii nei with a selection of hapa haole songs from 20th century Hawaii.

Kona Music Society’s Artistic Director Susan McCreary Duprey will open 1 1/2 hour concert by introducing guests to the Spanish composition “Misa Criolla,” in its island debut. As a vocal student who studied and performed in both Spain and Mexico and is fluent in the language, Duprey has longed to bring the native Argentinean pianist and composer’s critically acclaimed composition to Hawaii audiences.

Supported by the 75-member chorus, soloists Kaweo Kanoho and Bernaldo Evangelista will take the audience on a rhythmic ride back through the folk music movement, the musica folclorica, of the 1960s as it traversed through Argentina’s native musical heritage.

Described as a stunning artistic achievement, Duprey and alto Eliana Sattler said that in addition to its vernacular, the root of the reverent composition and its complex musical styling is what also attracts mass appeal. The tonal qualities, dance rhythms and song form in “Misa Criolla” promote the traditional instrumentation and indigenous rhythms of the localized folk sounds of Argentina. Sattler, a native Argentinean, gave specific examples of styles that will be featured: the baguala represents the “criolla” feeling and is considered true folk music from the northern part of the country and features slow and fast rhythms for a solo singer; the vidala, from the Catamarca and Tucuman region, is a style rich in musicality and lyrical poetry and highlights a duo performance; and the carnavalito, which derives from an ancient dance of the Altiplano people, provides a carnival-style beat through the playing of regional instruments in a joyful, pentatonic scale.

In place of regional instruments, area musicians will use appropriate substitute percussion instruments from their musical toolbox. Gloria Juan, Sharon Cannon and other island talent will provide keyboard, guitar, string bass and a detailed three-person rhythm section for the performance accompaniment.

The concert will move on from the folk music movement of Argentina to encompass a global musical representation. The second part of the program will feature the KMS Youth Chorus and its world music collection. Led by Director Marinella Savarese, the 16-member Youth Chorus is comprised of children in third- through 12th grades, who will sing songs including “Tina Singu” (“We Sing”), a South African folk song; “Be a Candle of Hope,” a Gaelic Irish folk melody; “Do Di Li,” a love song in Hebrew; and “Hope for Resolution,” a South African tribute song for Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk.

Following the children’s program, the musical journey will return to Hawaii. Songs that were popularized in the early 20th century included catchy melodies about island themes and culturally rich Hawaiian music, some of which was written in English. These classic examples became internationally recognized and peaked in popularity between the 1920s and 1950s. The concert will sample a few hapa haole era compositions including, “Waikiki,” an Andy Cummings classic written in the 1940s, and “Lahaina Luna,” composed by Kui Lee. In addition, nonhapa haole songs will be performed, including, “Waika., a song with lyrics taken from an ancient Hawaiian chant; and “Na Ke Akua,” a song composed and written in Hawaiian in 1992 by Duprey’s late father John McCreary.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students and are available for purchase at Kona Stories Bookstore and Kona Bay Books or online at konamusicsociety.org. For more information, contact Julia Lester at 334-9880.