The Maui Pops Orchestra, under the direction of conductor James Durham, will celebrate its ninth season of bringing exciting symphonic music to Maui residents and visitors. Concerts For Keikis will again be part of the Pops' season with two programs that will entertain and educate more than 1,000 elementary and middle school students at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC).
Grants from the Atherton Family Foundation, Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation and the Jose L. Romero Memorial Fund have helped make this concert possible.
Director Durham said this is the most significant program of the year, as it promotes live entertainment and nurtures a positive means of expression and communication for young people.
The Maui Pops Orchestra, under the direction of conductor James Durham, will celebrate its ninth season of bringing exciting symphonic music to Maui residents and visitors.
Photo: Tony Novak-Clifford
The program entitled "The Ocean and Our Environment" demonstrates how music composers use instruments to simulate the sounds of nature, such as thunder, lighting, rain, wind, etc. Special guest Uluwehi Guerrero will educate the students about ancient Hawaiian gods that were associated with weather.
This is a revival of a program began in 2007-08. The orchestra was unable at that time to continue the school performances primarily due to the lack of funding. With a strong core of Maui musicians, and the help of needed grants and awards, the board of directors approved the program. The board believes it is part of the responsibility of arts organizations to educate children to appreciate the arts, and the combination of the orchestra and the beautiful concert hall provides the perfect vehicle for this.
Without these concerts, some of these children might never receive an introduction to classical music. Hearing this music will make a lasting impression on all of the students. A study guide provided to the teachers before the concert will allow them to prepare their students to get the most out of the experience.
These concerts will help fill a large gap in arts education for Maui students in elementary school, who receive no school-based exposure to classical or orchestral music, and nearly no music education at all. National research shows that arts education is an important part of early education, and the Maui Pops Orchestra, along with partner Maui Arts & Cultural Center, are helping to fill the need.
The regular concert season begins Dec. 2 with the "Holiday Pops" concert, featuring guest violinist Iggy Jang performing the "Four Seasons," and several local outstanding vocalists singing holiday favorites. The Jan. 20, 2013, concert is "Broadway Pops" with New York singers Elizabeth Southard and Gary Mauer. Both have impressive Broadway resumes, including leading roles. They will perform many favorite songs from famous Broadway shows. March 17, 2013, will be the fun time with "St. Paddy's Pops," all Irish and Celtic music, including dancers from the Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) with their version of "River Dance."
All concerts this year have a Sunday 3 p.m. start time.