Monday, December 6, 2010

Maui Pops Orchestra Holiday Concert - A Review

It is hard getting used to Christmas in Maui after living in Canada almost all my life, where I didn't just have to dream of a white Christmas. It was for real. Have you ever tried to dream of snow while sitting on the beach in tropical surrounds, listening to the gentle lapping of waves on the shore and watching children play in the sand? It is next to impossible.
A few years ago we discovered that the secret for getting into the Christmas spirit in Maui is music, the most uplifting remedy in the world for whatever ails you.
Yesterday afternoon we attended the Maui Pops Orchestra Holiday concert at the MACC and as soon as they started to play a medley of Christmas favourites we were hooked on the season. During the first half of the program the music included 'White Christmas', 'The Christmas Song', 'Winter Wonderland', 'Ave Maria' and a lovely medley from 'The King and I'. You may ask how the 'The King and I' fits into Christmas. I guess it doesn't but it has been my favourite musical since I was twelve, so I loved it and had to restrain myself from breaking out in song from my balcony seat. James Durham, the very talented conductor told us that the song 'Getting to Know You' was originally written for 'South Pacific', but it didn't fit so Rodgers, the composer, put it on the shelf until he wrote "The King and I" which was a perfect match for the song. A tidbit I never knew before.
In the second half of the program the Orchestra was joined by the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and we were treated to 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', and a medley called 'The Many Moods of Christmas'. The grand finale was excerpts from Handel's 'Messiah', ending with the famous 'Hallelujah Chorus'. Since my husband and I have been choristers for years, we were with them with every note and every word, me in alto and he in bass. The magical combination of the Honolulu Chorus and the Maui Pops Orchestra did it all justice, and after resounding applause, the conductor jokingly announced that he liked to think that he was "renting to buy" this great group of singers who paid their own airfares to Maui for this special event. Dr. Esther Yoo, the Artistic Director of the Honolulu Symphony Chorus, was in attendance and made an appearance on the stage for bows at the end of the concert.
The concert ended with a Mitch Miller style sing-a-long of Christmas carols. James Durham told us that years ago, Mitch was a friend of his and the one thing he learned from him was to tell the audience to make sure they followed his stick. We certainly did, mostly because he is such a dynamic conductor and was hard to resist.
Now fully in the Christmas spirit we headed home and with joy in our hearts resolved that the next day we would put up our tree and decorate the house for the season!

To find out about upcoming Maui Pops Orchestra concerts visit their website.

If you are coming to Maui between May and November of next year, you may want to make our lovely Maui Garden House your vacation home.

1 comment:

  1. The concert sounds wonderful! I love how your writing brought me there. Merry Christmas!