May is music month on Kauai

  • Photo courtesy Kauai Community College

    A Kauai Community College instrumental music ensemble performs at the KCC Performing Arts Center in this file photo.

LIHUE — Family and friends can enjoy an orchestral symphony this Sunday, with more music to come later this month.

Kauai Community College is hosting three concerts, with the first taking place this weekend.

“KCC is the only one of all the University of Hawaii Community Colleges to have an Instrumental Music Program, which also includes a Jazz Ensemble and Wind Symphony,” said Band Director Sarah Tochiki.

The only full symphony orchestra on the island, Kauai Community College’s Symphony Orchestra is one of three ensembles at the school.

“Many people on Kauai still don’t know that we do indeed have an orchestra!” said Dawn Kawahara, who plays violin with the ensemble. Along with some of the other older adult musicians, she helps mentor the younger members.

“We’re so proud of and pleased to be playing classical music,” Kawahara said. “Besides the ‘build your own’ symphony, we’re playing Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Mozart, and a semester experiment that’s really fun, we’re playing a tribute to Elvis — quite the combo.”

The first concert in the series takes place Sunday at 5 p.m. in the college’s One-Stop Center. Then there’s more to come.

The combined orchestra and band are playing KCC’s graduation ceremonies on May 11, and a free Jazz and Wind Symphony concert with the Jazz Ensemble & Wind Symphony takes place May 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Kukui Grove Center Stage.

Then the cantata Carmina Burana — Carl Orff’s most famous choral work — will be performed May 18 and 19 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort ballroom in combination with the Kauai Chorale, before it travels to New York City to sing this epic piece at Lincoln Center. The Chorale will be joined by the KCC Instrumental Music Ensemble and the Kauai Chorale’s String Ensemble for a lively and entertaining selection of quality music.

The piece has excited audiences around the world with its thrilling and constantly changing rhythms, dramatic, soaring solos, whimsical, mystical and mischievous to serious moments. It offers challenges for the performers as well, as Kauai Chorale presents this quintessential piece of choral music. Student tickets are $5; regular adult tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

These will be the final concerts for Lois Ricciardi, Kauai Chorale’s Director for the last 30 years. Come see why the concerts are standing room only performances, utilizing the best singers and orchestral musicians on Kauai.



John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or


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