Author: Meizhu Lui

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya, Tomorrow! It’s funny how “tomorrow” all too quickly becomes “today.” For those of us who have been fans of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) and the Kahilu Youth Troupe, we’ve already seen the stars of tomorrow become the stars of today – including HPAF’s multi-talented Executive Director, Justin John Moniz, himself an HPAF alumnus. HPAF’s Stars of Tomorrow post-high school performers must have inspired their younger co-cast members. They, like us, could see and hear what extra years of practice and coaching can achieve. Becca Barrett and Daniel Gregg were original members of the…

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Classical music is full of dance tunes: gavottes, minuets, gigues, pavanes; because the music was written for the entertainment of wealthy aristocrats, and their parties often included dancing. The Galliard was a French Renaissance dance in which the man shows off his prowess with leaps and flourishes, like birds who strut their stuff to win their fair lady. The Galliard String Quartet, true to its name, has a light, lively, virtuosic style which imbued all three of their selections for their recent Kahilu TV concert. They take more liberties with tempo than most classical groups, allowing the listener to savor…

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“Angels We Have Heard on High:” the image of angels playing heavenly music on harps has been with us since Biblical times.  But the harp is even older than Christianity. It is thought to be over 3000 years old, seen on the walls of Egyptian tombs. For centuries, the harp has had a special place in Irish tradition; it led warriors into battle and became the national symbol of Ireland. Given such a long and storied history, with its exalted place among royalty, religions, and nations, it is no wonder that harps are capable of transporting the listener to other…

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“Cheer” means so many things: brightening people’s spirits, joy, and jollity, lifting a glass in a toast, and applause for something well done.  Home for the Holidays checked all those boxes. This holiday season, it’s been a slog to feel the usual anticipation; so many of us are giving up cherished traditions, or not gathering with those we love. So HPAF’s concert was a needed lift to our hearts. We visited the music rooms of some of our favorite HPAF faculty and alumni, and not only got to hear their performances but met their families and found out what makes…

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Who could have imagined such an inaugural season for the Hawaii International Guitar Series!  Certainly not William Jenks, its visionary founder.  Originally there were five concerts planned, to take place on Hawaii Island. But after three impressive performances in Hawi, the world suddenly ground to a halt. But the Series did not: Jenks organized not just two, but three more virtual concerts, broadcast from the artists’ homes to our own living rooms, wherever those might be. It was fitting that the Series should end with two guitarists right here in Hawaii, Ian O’Sullivan, a native of Oahu, and William Jenks…

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Our nation has been confronted with an uncomfortable truth:  there is not yet equality or justice for Blacks and other peoples of color. Will action finally be taken, not just by the government but by all parts of society, including the music arts industry?  The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) is rising to the challenge with a new initiative on Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access – what a good IDEA! Four HPAF alumni, African Americans Makeda Hampton and Alysia Lee, South African Njabulo Madlala, and Filipino-American Mary Rose Go were joined by HPAF faculty member Paulina Villarreal of Mexico first…

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