Spring Wind Quintet blows Onto Kaua‘i

An audience of about 50 people enjoyed the wind fanfare brought by Chamber Music Hawai‘i’s Spring Wind Quintet at Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center.

The Sept. 1 concert was free to the public, but served as a fundraiser for the Larry L. McIntosh Scholarship Association. The scholarship foundation was founded in memory of music teacher Larry McIntosh. The nonprofit organizations raises money for graduating seniors who want to further their musical education.

“This tour of Kaua‘i is special to us,” said Scott Janusch, who plays oboe.

Janusch and his colleagues — Karla Myers, flute; James Moffitt, clarinet; Martha Schweitzer, bassoon; and Jonathan Parrish, French horn — visited the island to perform in various Kaua‘i classrooms, which included stops at Kapa’a Middle School and Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.

During the KCC concert, the quintet departed from a traditional concert by quizzing audience members and encouraging them to ask questions.

“This is what we call a talk story concert,” Janusch said before the concert began.

Each member of the quintet introduced themselves, and their instruments, while giving demonstrations of some uncommon wind instruments (including the piccolo, nose flute, pu and a home-made hoseaphone, which uses a plastic funnel and garden hose).

In Parrish’s demonstration, he explained that the French horn is the most Hawaiian instrument, as he held it sideways to mimic the look of a shaka sign.

During the one-hour concert, the world-class quintet performed new works composed specifically for them in addition to pieces specifically arranged for a woodwind quintet.

The concert opened with a “Beautiful Kahana,” an enchanting piece written by Schweitzer about Kahana Bay located on the windward coast of O’ahu.

Janusch unleashed the prowess of the oboe during a piece by Russian composer P.I. Tchaikovsky.

The quintet performed the Hawaiian premier of “Variations of a Simple Tune,” also written by Schweitzer.

The simple tune was not so simple as it combined variations of minore, fugue, pointillism, 12 tone, scales and fauxbourdon. Audience members got the low down of each of these techniques as Parrish used a white board to help explain each variation.

“I bet you didn’t know you would be going to class tonight,” he joked.

As an audience request, the quintet closed out the show with Hawaiian songs, including compositions adapted from legendary songwriter Keola Beamer and “Kamehameha Waltz.”

Chamber Music Hawai‘i’s mission is to create opportunities for chamber music performances by their three ensembles, which is accomplished through concert series, seminars, classes and public concerts throughout the islands, according to its website.

Visit http://chambermusichawaii.org more information about Chamber Music Hawai‘i.

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