Gold came home in the luggage of both the Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and the Kapa‘a Middle School ‘Ukulele Band following the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, Calif.
Mary Lardizabal, the program’s instructor and director, was awarded the “You Make Miracles Happen” award.
“This award truly represents all of the hard work and effort our incredible parents and students put forth to making this opportunity happen,” Lardizabal said in an email. “Rehearsals, fundraisers and numerous performances prepared the students for the festival.”
Lardizabal said the KMS Choir performed first, sharing their gift of music through sign language taught to them by Aunty Leah Ho and followed the performance by entertaining the judges and audience with their choreography.
The ‘ukulele band played to an auditorium filled with extended family and friends from the Mainland who came to support the group, the instructor/director said.
Prior to the group’s performance, Lardizabal said there were whispers throughout the audience, wondering what a ‘ukulele band was.
“The adjudicator came on stage to share with the Kapa‘a student that the standards and expectations of the Heritage Music Festival are based on criteria which could not be judged today,” Lardizabal said, crediting Aunty Loke Sasil for her instruction in ‘ukulele. “The adjudicator told the students, ‘Your performance cannot be judged based on the criteria set by Heritage Festival. Today, you taught us about your culture and gift of music.’”
The Kapa‘a Middle School PTSA helped sponsor a few of the fundraising efforts and through the support of the students’ parents, a Choir and ‘Ukulele Band Boosters Club was established.
“The efforts put forth were overwhelming and humbling,” Lardizabal said. “We are truly blessed to have so much support from our community members. Our school has so much to offer. Look into the eyes of our children and listen to them sing.”
Parents and chaperones offered their support for the 2012 trip to the Heritage Music Festival.
Lardizabal said this is Kapa‘a Middle School’s 12th year of participation in the Heritage Music Festival.
The Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band will host its spring concert at 6:30 p.m. on May 9 in the school’s covered court.
In conjunction with the concert, a spaghetti dinner will be served prior to the concert, and a Scholastic Book Fair is scheduled.
Visit www.kmschoirandukulele.webs.com for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.