Daniel Belcher and Justin John Moniz to kickoff Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Free Concert Series
For fourteen seasons, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) has continued to bring world-class music to Hawaii Island and this season is no exception. The festival, which was founded in 2005, has established an international reputation as a premiere training and performance program for aspiring young artists worldwide. Each season, HPAF assembles an exceptional roster of faculty artists who provide instruction and appear in a series of free concerts for the Big Island community.
HPAF’s first of three free community concerts will be presented on Wednesday, June 27 at 6pm at The Shops at Mauna Lani. Under the Stars: American Pops! features Grammy Award-winning baritone, Daniel Belcher, and HPAF Executive Director and two-time American Prize winner, Justin John Moniz. The program celebrates the work of American composers Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Leonard Bernstein, in celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday. Audiences will recognize famed classics from West Side Story, Oklahoma, South Pacific, as well as a handful of patriotic favorites including “God Bless America” – just in time for Independence Day. Belcher and Moniz will be joined by critically acclaimed pianist and HPAF favorite, Phil Kadet (piano), as well as Michael Surprenaut (percussion).
“We are really thrilled to continue our work within the community,” says Moniz. Each year HPAF explores new ways to engage local audiences and youth, and has found great success through their Free Concert Series. “We heavily believe in the value and power of music education for all, and especially for youth. We believe that music is an outlet for self-expression. We believe when words fail, music speaks. We believe in empowering artists to use their voice to tell a story, inspire a cause, raise awareness, and make a difference.”
For the upcoming 2018 Festival, HPAF awarded $82,275 in scholarships to local, national, and international aspiring young artists. For the first time in the festival’s history, 58% of students received scholarship and financial assistance to offset the cost of attending the festival. More specifically, HPAF is proud to have offered assistance to 100% of local Hawaiian talent. This season, nine local young singers from Hawaii Island, will study, train, and perform alongside HPAF’s internationally acclaimed roster of faculty artists, including Belcher and Moniz.
The second and third concerts of HPAF’s Free Concert Series features vocal and instrumental faculty artists in Great Performances I & II, on Tuesday, July 10 and 17, respectively. Both performances will begin at 7pm at Davies Chapel, located on the campus of Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea. In lieu of ticket sales for all of HPAF’s Free Concert Series (including Under the Stars: American Pops!), the organization will accept donations of non-perishable food items to benefit the Waimea Food Pantry. Since 2005, HPAF has collected over 2,600 pounds of food for the hungry.
Aside from HPAF’s Free Concert Series, the organization will present three mainstage productions with orchestra including Handel’s Alcina, Mark Adamo’s Little Women (based on the novel by Louis May Alcott), and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Season concert offerings include I Love A Piano (starring Phil Kadet), Pupu and Puccini, and Cabaret and Cabernet.
For a full list of offerings and ticket information, please visit: www.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org.