Posts Tagged bryan clay

Some interesting performances…

After our trip to Diamond Head, a few of us decided to make the run up Diamond Head like some of the joggers that crossed our path earlier! Wednesday morning started off quite exhilarating! Until those stairs of course… going from a full run and skipping off rocks and ledges to a … nice complete grappling of the stair railings, one step at a time! Phew…

Aside: if you ever get a chance to try coconut pancakes WITH a coconut syrup, then do it. 🙂

Wednesday night’s big event was the famous Kawaiaha’o Church. Likened as the Westminster Abbey of the Pacific, it has a simple, colonial grandeur to it that made a very warm sound for performances. This night was the first annual Na Kane concert ever. Translation? “The Men”. It brought together the Honolulu Youth Opera Chorus, the Somoan Gospel Heralds, Aaron Mahi’s Alumni Glee Club of the Kamehameha School (who we’d rehearsed with the night before), and a barbershop choir, The Sounds of Aloha. The night ended with a full combined choir performance of Honolulu by Neil McKay featuring the very famous Hawaiian dancer, Kanoe Miller!

Our preparation for it got a little interesting however. With no group rehearsals ahead of time, the dress for the concert was a bit confusing. Turns out every group had their hawaiian shirts and slacks on, and we had arrived in our coat tails! Alas, it was too hot in the building for jackets; our tuxes with the white shirts and kakui nut necklaces looked pretty darn good.

The next day, we took a smaller group to visit Castle High, the school where Bryan Clay attended before coming APU. It was a bit of work singing all morning for the students, but we had fun. The first was a polynesian music classes that included a ukulele army with a few guitars and vocalists. As they played a few songs for us, we all couldn’t help but notice how relaxed their sound was! It just made me happy… the singing in Hawaiian, the ukuleles,… yes, I can see it now. Palm trees and white sand. Perfect. We finished the high school visit by checking out their wind ensemble rehearsal and the track team, gave some promo material, and headed onto our next performance with the rest of the chorale.

The First Presbyterian Church on Oahu was on a golf course, one of the hardest in the world, I hear… the Ko’olau Golf Course. It was a beautiful location, Jurassic Park seemed to be right outside the window. Unfortunately, the VOG wasn’t helping. The middle of this week brought a smog mixture of volcanic ash from the big island; a volcano had gone off and the wind blew the stuff over to this island. I don’t think most of us felt it as much as all the newspaper headlines were yelling out. We’re from LA after all. Well, we were to perform that evening, along with two other musical groups. Our numbers were at the beginning, and the very end.

What happened next was pretty amazing for most of us. Having finished the performance, the audience, other bands, and all of us shared some fellowship time with baked goods and coffee. A lady came up to me quite flustered asking for a schedule of our next performance, so I told her and she went on her way.

As the last people left for the night, we were getting ready to board the bus. A few whistles from Harold brought us all back into the lobby of the building. There was the lady I had spoken to along with her husband. They had driven for hours to get here tonight, but had lost there way and made it just in time to catch the last few chords of the performance! We couldn’t let that go now… an impromptu concert came about and we circled the couple in a round and sang for them. Wow, first, what joy we had brought them, a special performance for them. Secondly, what joy we sang with. To repeat what other guys said later that night, we seldom sing so freely and without any hindrance!

Turns out the gentleman is head of something at the Salvation Army and they were from England. Who knows how the chorale will be used in the future, especially having him express how he’d like to keep in contact and use us!

On another note, I wonder how many people know about this. So, all the rage for the last few days has been Cha Cha. Do you know Cha Cha? Got a question? You should ask Cha Cha.


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Day 8: and we’re off!

Aloha to everyone back on the mainland! Sorry, it’s been rather difficult to post entries because of the nature of this tour. Being settled in Honolulu for our week of performances isn’t quite the same as having all those hours on the road from place to place, so forgive me – but here’s another update! (I’ll get caught up very soon, so expect a few more things after this post)

Our eighth day on tour was Mother’s Day, so happy belated Mother’s Day to anyone reading! Funny how many times this year I heard about the commercialization of the holiday, to the dismay of its founder, who started it a century ago.

Morning Service

We begin this week with a rigorous schedule in store for us, and on Sunday morning, we sang for the morning service at Wesley United Methodist Church. The wonderful pastor’s wife is an alumnus of APU and the church warmly welcomed us by having a sweet elderly woman greet us with a lai and a kiss on the cheek!

After we sang a couple numbers, there was some liturgy and readings. It was simply beautiful the way they used creation and the ideas of the water surrounding them in relation to God. Aside from its poetic character, the reading was unnervingly calm and relaxing. Ah, Hawai’i.

Mother like a rock…?

So the pastor goes up to do the children’s message, the little ones sat on the steps in front, and the mother’s day message goes something like this:

“Boys and girls, mother is like many things. One of these is this pitcher of water. Why is mother like water?”
Boy: “She makes us not thirsty…”
“Good! And how is mother like this apple?”
Girl: “Because she keeps us healthy and feeds us!”
“Great! Now, why is mother like this rock or this stone?”
Other girl: “Because she is heavy!”

~Uh oh!~ Whoops, it was pretty entertaining watching the nice pastor avoid the little girl for the next set of questions!

Surfing the Nations

If you’ve heard of this organization before, you’ll know it’s a ministry centered around God and the 10/40 window through major surfing events and locales around the world. Through some connections with Andrea (our coordinator from APU’s Office of Advancement), we snagged an hour time slot smack dab in the middle of Waikiki beach!

The hosts on the stage for the two-day event by Surfing the Nations included an APU alumnus and there were others among the crowd as well. It was reported back that of both days, we had held the largest crowd, and had been heard all the way down the beach!

After some free time (my tan’s coming along if you’re wondering) we headed to New Life Church near Honolulu’s Chinatown district. This was a converted Chinese theater and was now a beautiful looking and sounding sanctuary for their services.

For tour this year, the concert on this night would be our final true church concert. The rest of this trip will consist of smaller singing engagements in a variety of other venues and with other groups. Since our last concert is usually, well, on our last day of tour, I sincerely did not expect some things tonight. For our graduated seniors, this would be the last church concert they do with the chorale, some of them having been a part of this for all four years! The night became a sentimental one, a very impacting one for those that were present. So there were some tears, lots of good laughs while on stage, all between the choir and the audience.

This was also the last night Terry and Nancy Franson would be with us. He was able to speak about APU’s impact on the life of Bryan Clay, Olympic Decathlon Medalist at Athens in 2004, the frontrunner to win gold in Beijing, and of course, APU alumnus. His family was able to attend our performance and Bryan’s mother spoke in the middle of the program, thanking the chorale for moving her so much that very evening.

Here’s a bonus little video of our moped adventures!

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