BYU-Hawai'i choir heading to N.Y. to play Carnegie Hall
|Audio: Hear a clip of the Brigham Young University-Hawai'i Concert Choir performing "Ua Nani Kaua'i / Nani Wale Lihu'e" from the 2004 CD "Na Leo Malu"|
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer
By Eloise Aguiar
LA'IE — The Concert Choir from Brigham Young University-Hawai'i will join singing groups from across America next month to perform a Mozart requiem at Carnegie Hall in New York.
The 60-member choir is made up of college students from more than 15 countries, including South Korea, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Japan, Malaysia, Tonga and Samoa.
"It's like a fruit salad, all the colors from around the world," said choir member Arthur Ah Loo, a BYU-Hawai'i freshman from Samoa.
For many members, the trip will be their first to the Big Apple, and they're excited, Ah Loo said. He said he could never have afforded such a trip on his own.
The Concert Choir formed 20 years ago, said Justin Smith, tour coordinator. The group has developed a reputation and has performed throughout the Islands and internationally, Smith said. The group went to Japan and South Korea in 2004 and will go to Mongolia in 2007.
Each trip gives them an opportunity to showcase their talent, but they also get to visit scenic, cultural and historic sites. In New York, the choir will be staying several blocks from Times Square and will visit Sept. 11's ground zero and the Empire State Building, he said.
In New York, the choir will join with four others. The Mozart "Requiem, K626" is 57 minutes long and the members have been practicing three hours a day, five days a week, since the semester began, he said. The choir will also go to a Harlem chapel to sing devotional music while in New York.
Isrin O'Connor, a BYU-Hawai'i sophomore from Thailand, said she's looking forward to experiencing the crowds and visiting historical places. O'Connor said she was pleasantly surprised when she learned the group was going to New York after she had taken a hiatus from singing because of the grueling practice schedule. She decided to come back in the fall because she missed singing.
"It was always fun to sing and perform and have people come see you and they're happy," she said. "We get to share what we learn from our church, be a part of God's work. I'm excited."
The trip will be the first to New York for O'Connor and her husband, Bryan, a BYU-Hawai'i freshman from the Marquesas Islands. Bryan O'Connor said he sings to relax and that singing in the choir is a privilege.
"You have the chance to express yourself," he said. "Also we get a chance to communicate through music. We can share what we believe, what we feel."
Reach Eloise Aguiar at email@example.com.