Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022|
Share this story
The Orchid Isle Orchestra is back with its “Home for the Holidays (Again)” concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Soloist Alden Young will be performing Jean-Baptiste Accolay’s Concerto in A Minor, a student concerto he is familiar with from his teen years. Young grew up in Hilo, and returned to playing with OIO in 2019 after earning a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
During an OIO rehearsal over the summer, the original soloist for the piece was missing, and the ensemble decided to practice the accompaniment alone. In the middle of the run-through, Young began playing the solo part from memory, to gasps from his playmates and applause at the end. The original soloist dropped out of OIO shortly after and was replaced by Young.
Soloist Beatrice Kim-Lee, 15-year-old violist, will perform the first two movements of G.P. Telemann’s Concerto in G Major, a piece she has been working on for a year with teacher Cathy Young (mother of Alden and artistic director of OIO).
Kim-Lee has been playing viola for three years, two of which have been spent with OIO. She spent almost a year in South Korea following last March’s lockdown, living with family, attending school in Seoul, and taking viola lessons online. Kim-Lee returned to Hawaii in July and attends Waiakea High School.
Other pieces from the concert include Lorie Gruneisen’s “Adventure on the High Seas,” which transports listeners to the deck of a pirate ship in turmoil, as well as Brian Balmages’ “The Abandoned Funhouse” and “(You Are) Amazing.” Balmages wrote the latter for student orchestras last spring after walking around his neighborhood and seeing chalk messages on the sidewalk: “You are amazing” and “Be amazing,” side by side.
“(It) helped me recenter … with (my) current feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and more,” Balmages said in the foreword to the piece’s score. “It was incredibly important to me that I paid the message forward … it is my hope that the students playing the piece will experience great joy, that the conductor will find new purpose, (and) that listeners — regardless of whether in-person or remote — will remember how much beauty is in the world, and that everyone will take a moment to breathe, relax, and remember that they are amazing.”
Accompanying those pieces will be Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne’s “Let it Snow,” arranged by Steve W. Mauldin; Alfred Burt’s “This is Christmas,” arranged by Cathy Young; and Vince Gauraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here,” also arranged by Young, which is featured in the 1965 “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Rachel Edwards, community staple in the world of performance, will sing with the orchestra for all three numbers. Edwards teaches chorus at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and was most recently the musical director for the Hilo Community Players’ recent production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Performers from Young Music Studio will precede the orchestra with select pieces from the Shinichi Suzuki repertoire.
The concert on Sunday will be OIO’s first in-person performance since March 2020, when select members played at Young at Art, East Hawaii Cultural Center’s annual exhibit showcasing art from students in grades K-12.
OIO is a project of EHCC and at the start of the summer resumed rehearsals in its black box theater, the locale of Sunday’s concert.
In the past year, individual OIO players recorded music that aired on Hawaii Public Radio last December and July.
Limited (free) tickets are available for the in-person concert on Sunday, so call Cathy Young at (808) 982-9307 to reserve your spot. The concert will be recorded and will be broadcast on the radio at later date. If the live performance is sold out, OIO will notify you when the recorded concert will air.
Donations to OIO can be done via checks made out to OIO’s fiscal agent East Hawaii Cultural Center and sent to: EHCC, 141 Kalakaua Street, Hilo, Hawaii, 96720. On the memo line, note “donation to OIO.”
Disclosure: This writer has been performing with OIO since 2015.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *