Kaua‘i Chorale announces Mele Masters Series this month

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Chorale announced the second springtime installment of The Mele Masters Series, online presentations featuring several musicians, beginning May 16.

All events are free to the public, suitable for all audiences, and available on Zoom, with registration available at kauaichorale.org.

All events begin at 2 p.m., with closed captioning available.

“This is a terrific opportunity for not only our neighbors in Kaua‘i, but for everyone, to spend time with some very-entertaining and super-talented musicians with roots in their own communities,” said Morris Wise, Kaua‘i Chorale artistic director.

”We are fortunate to have them share their knowledge and experience with us,” he said.

The next several installments are:

“When We Embrace Again: On the Beauty of Singing Together”

The May 16 presentation is with Dr. Jonathan Talberg, director of choral activities at California State University at Long Beach. Talberg has earned various awards in choral-music education and performance, and will share his experiences from his long career, on why choral music is so important, and the current trends and expected future changes.

“Overcoming Adversity and Inspiring Others with Music”

On May 23, Amy Wilson shares her insights and experiences of overcoming adversity and inspiring others with music. Wilson was born visually impaired, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming an accomplished music conductor, advocating for underrepresented classical musicians, and leading ensembles. She is music director of the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor of the Atlanta Contemporary Ensemble.

“A Musician in the 21st Century”

Clarinetist Mark J. Cramer on May 30 will discuss his experience in the ever-changing world as a musician in 2021, including modern conservatory training, music research, entrepreneurship and a life working in the recording industry. Cramer is faculty at the Tennessee Tech University School of Music as assistant professor of clarinet, where he teaches studio clarinet, clarinet choir, is a member of the Cumberland Quintet, and performs as principal clarinetist of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra.

For over 50 years, the Kaua‘i Chorale has performed choral music from a wide variety of genres, from jazz to classical to Hawaiian and more. The group celebrates the talents of Kaua‘i residents, and often collaborates with Kaua‘i Community College ensembles, the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School bands, musicians from Kapa‘a Middle School, and an assortment of local soloists. It has traveled extensively to perform. Its mission is to enhance the cultural life of the people of Kaua‘i.

Wise is originally from the East Coast, and has lived on Kaua‘i since 2009. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in both vocal performance and choral directing. He has been artistic director of the Kaua‘i Chorale since 2018.

Since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began, the chorale ceased all in-person meetings and performances.

Registration for all events is at kauaichorale.org. Connect with the Kaua‘i Chorale online and on Facebook.

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