Blessed by all the musicians
As a long-term “visitor” to the Garden Island, I have found Kauai to be a place filled with wonderful cultural experiences. I have enjoyed outstanding theater at WIT and Kauai playhouse, as well as some fine productions in our island schools.
The Kauai Voices chorus and the Kauai Chorale both offer super programming. In addition, all across the island there are many smaller venues providing great music and entertainment. The Kauai Concert Association brings outstanding entertainment and culture as well to this island in the middle of the ocean!
But I must say I was profoundly moved this week by the concerts presented by the instrumental music program at Kauai Community College. Yes, I attended all three (all free by the way). On May 4 it was the Kauai Youth Honor Band and the KCC Wind Symphony, with a great guest director, Warrant Officer Stephen Talbot.
The Saturday night, May 11 concert included the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Jazz Band, the Kauai High School Jazz Raiders, and KCC’s Jazz Ensemble, and a fantastic guest jazz trumpeter, DeShannon Higa, as well as three amazing vocalists. The Mother’s Day afternoon program was the KCC Symphony Orchestra.
All this comes together and, masterfully, I might add, because of Sarah Tochiki. What a gift she is to our schools, to the college, and to the musical life of this island! And now she has embarked on yet another ambitious program to provide free string lessons for the children of Kauai. As Sarah always reminds every audience, KCC is the only community college in the entire University of Hawaii system with a full instrumental-music program. We are blessed indeed. And we are blessed, too, by a super KCC Performing Arts Center venue.
What Sarah and all her dedicated musicians from a fifth-grader to a 90-year-old offer us is a true music experience. My only regret in this whole week of concerts was that KCC PAC wasn’t filled for each and every performance. If you have never heard our KCC musicians, I hope you will do so. Your heart will be singing and your toes tapping!
By the way, she warmed this Wisconsinite’s heart by including a wonderful piece called “Cabeza de Queso,” written by her late professor from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In case your Spanish needs a boost, that’s “Cheesehead,” a handle Wisconsin wears proudly.
Rex Piercy, Hanapepe
Kauai taxpayers shouldn’t face parking restrictions
I just heard on the news that Kuhio Highway west of Waikoko will not be open until the middle of June. When Ke‘e Beach opens up, shouldn’t every single parking space be made available to Kauai residents only? And shouldn’t all adult passengers have to show proof of Hawaii residency? Mainland people should take the shuttle. As a Kauai taxpayer, why should I be subject to severe restrictions in visiting a state park in favor of out-of-state visitors?
Annie Leighton, Kapaa