Lanai High & Elementary School - Musicians-in-the-Schools Performance and private lessons - Friday, March 9, 2012
Four Seasons Lodge at Koele - Public Concert - Saturday, March 10, 2012
At the hour-long presentation for local students, the Spring Wind Quintet began with each member individually speaking about how their instruments work, playing a short example to demonstrate, and giving the young musicians tips on technique. This was an amazing opportunity for our local young musicians to ask questions and sit just a few feet from these professional musicians, spellbound as the group performed both original compositions for wind quintet with a Hawaiian flavor as well as traditional pieces from the classical repertoire. The next afternoon, the Lodge performance opened with a piece from the classical repertoire, followed by an original composition in five intricate movements that reflected the feel and textures of Hawaii. We were also extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy a special performance. The Quintet was joined by a guest storyteller, Dr. Jon Magnussen, who had adapted a traditional Hawaiian recorded oral history tale, the story of Päka`a Lanakila. This was a fun, moving piece with the story teller performing the tale of Paka‘a, a boy living on Kaua‘i long ago, in the cliffs of Ke-ahi-ahi (near the present-day Kealia) with his single mother and her bird-catching brother. He is tired of the fishermen making fun of his uncle and the fact that he never provides the family with fish—only birds. Paka‘a is also frustrated that the fishermen never give generously of their catch to him, believing that his uncle, Ma‘ilou, is too lazy to deserve it. Paka‘a figures out a clever way to beat the fishermen at their own game. Dr. Magnussen’s performance was beautifully illustrated and uplifted by the music he’d composed for Wind Quintet, that provided dramatic background to the story, which was commissioned by Chamber Music Hawaii for the Spring Wind Quintet, with generous support from the Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts. Scored for wind quintet and narrator, Päka‘a Lanakila! is inspired by the Spring Wind Quintet’s passion for education and outreach in Hawaii’s schools. The Quintet’s dedication was evident at every turn. Arriving on an early ferry, over rough seas from the recent storm, and after two days crammed with multiple performances on Maui, they accepted that the tight time constraints only allowed us to stop for coffee and muffins before rushing no to the school performance. After a brief lunch break with food brought into the school, they tackled the afternoon’s demanding series of private lessons. This sort of dedication filled the entire weekend. Visit their web site at Chamber Music Hawaii for more information on this and the other excellent ensembles, touring information and more.