Kauai’s best voices will be singing timeless classics this weekend to raise funds for education.
The Mokihana Club’s Spring Concert, “The Crooners &Divas of the 50s,” is 4 p.m. Sunday at St Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church to benefit its music scholarship program.
“It’s a unique, nostalgic concert for the island,” said Helena Cooney, spring concert chairwoman. “Music Scholarships are one of the main focuses of the Mokihana Club, and this is how we raise the money to be given out in the 18-19 club year.”
Postponed by the April 15 flood, the concert is back on track. Under the direction of vocal teacher Dolly Kanekuni, 12 Kauai singers will reproduce some of the biggest hits of the 1950s from Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Connie Francis and Doris Day.
Kanekuni says she serves as musical director “to help the Mokihana club create a special afternoon of great music and to offer some talented kids an opportunity to perform with an accompanist in a concert venue.”
She has been coaching singers worldwide for 25 years and is passionate about helping them reach their vocal goals. On Kauai, she sings with several bands and performs for musical theatre and special events. Kanekuni also serves as president of Hawaii Children’s Theatre.
“Anytime we can financially help kids to pursue a career in music, I am in,” she added.
Kanekuni will be performing along with Arnold Meister, Thom Newman, Peggy Lake and Alan Van Zee, who is also accompanying everyone on piano. Some of the best adult singers on island as well as some very talented youth will be performing solos. Youth performers will include Kai Ohai (youth) Chloe Rudinoff, Sabryn Rudinoff, Jeremiah Garcia, Jenny Nezbeda, Emma Badua and Savannah Hubbard. Radio personality Ron Wiley will be master of ceremonies.
“She (Kanekuni) came up with the ideas for the kids singing, and she got the rest of the talent,” Cooney said.
Proceeds will benefit the Mokihana Club’s Music Scholarship Fund for high school seniors interested in pursuing music in college. The Mokihana Club has been rewarding scholarships for 48 years though the annual fundraiser. This year, the club awarded scholarships to five Kauai students.
Vocalist Peggy Lake of Kauai Community College’s Office of Continuing Education and Training, is excited about performing for the fundraiser event.
“I’m a big supporter of the Mokihana Scholarship,” she said. “My daughter got one back in 2013, and it was a big boost and help toward her tuition to UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) where she received her bachelor’s degree in music.”
All participants are donating their time and energy for this cause.
“I’ve done the fundraiser in the past with my Swing Sister girlfriends. We had a blast,” said Lake, who began singing professionally in 1982. “I’m looking forward to Sunday with a great line-up of singers and songs. Dolly Kanekuni has pulled together a great show.”
The Mokihana Club, the oldest women’s organization on the island, was founded in 1905.
Tickets are available at TheMokihanaClub.org, or at the door. General admission costs $30, and Gold Circle is $40. Info: www.themokihanaclub.org