Kaua‘i High brings New York to the islands

Kaua‘i High Chorus teacher David Conrad and his singers decided that since they can’t go to New York just yet, they would bring New York to the island.

“We won’t be able to go to New York till March 2008, so we’re doing this show and calling it ‘Autumn In New York,’” said Conrad. “This is something new for us. We’ve never done a fall show. We’ve assembled songs from Broadway shows like ‘Rent,’ ‘Once On This Island,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and ‘Aladdin.’”

The Kaua‘i High School choruses, along with the Chiefess Kamakahelei sixth-grade chorus, will perform two chorus concerts Tuesday and Wednesday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall at 7 p.m.

The students set up the stage with orange and yellow colors to give the convention hall an East Coast autumn ambiance.

“The stage is all set up with these orange leaves to look like fall,” said first soprano Kehau Medeiros, who plans on going to New York with the group. “I’m interested in seeing all the shows and everything that is New York.”

But until then, Conrad wanted to get everyone into the mood by putting on this fall show.

“This show is all about the things you can do as if you were in New York,” said Conrad.

Funds raised go towards the chorus’ 18-month quest to perform with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.

“We got accepted into this Student Ovations program which allows the students to study, rehearse and perform with members of the opera,” Conrad said, “so this is a huge opportunity for us,” Conrad said.

Every year orchestras and choruses from across the country travel to New York with Pro Musica Tours to participate in a customized itinerary. The highlight is performing on-stage with the singers and orchestra.

“I traveled to New York over the summer and got to meet these people who put on the program and it’s a great thing. The students are going to love it,” Conrad said.

The main thing though is getting there.

“It’s definitely a long ways away and some of the students now won’t be able to go, but it’s still a great program to be a part of,” Conrad said.

“Autumn in New York” features more than 100 chorus students, the most ever in Conrad’s 16-year tenure at the school.

Choreography for the show is provided by parent and former Kapa‘a High School student, Stacie Cantu and Kaua‘i Performing Arts Center alum Michelle Rundbaken. Nina Saraos, Mele Ng and Michael Odo will provide the accompaniment. Tickets are available from all chorus students and the Kmart in Lihu‘e.

Want to Go?

Who: “Autumn in New York”

Where: Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall

When: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $6 adv/$8 door; Students $5 adv/$7 door

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