Band students ‘sway’ into holiday season

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Trumpet players James Krueger, Avinash Singh and Justin Fernandez perform with the pop band at the Christmas Concert in Keōpūolani Hale on December 7.

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s high school concert band and pop rock bands filled Keōpūolani Hale with a broad range of music, from Christmas classics to favorite oldies on December 7.

To name a few, the students performed songs such as, Merry Christmas Darling, Feliz Navidad, Sway (Quien Sera), and Superstition.

The overall performance was “fantastic,” Band Director Siuai Laufou said. He said that this year’s band students were, “the best bunch of musicians musically, hands down,” since he has been on Maui.

The band rehearsed over a semester during classes in preparation for the concert.

“Trying to figure out how to play the music was the hardest part,” clarinet player Kelsey Ota said.

But all the practice was evident when the students finally showcased their talents in an hour-long performance in front of their families, teachers and peers.

“The best part of the concert was to see all of our hard work pay off,” clarinet player Maile Sur said.

As the lights dimmed, curtains rolled back and heads turned to center stage, the pop rock band began to perform their opening song, Ray Charles’ What I’d Say, composed by Michael Sweeney.

Alto sax player Joelene Kua’ana introduced each song performed by the pop rock band.

There was a brief intermission, thirty minutes into the Christmas Concert, allowing the concert band students to transition onto the stage.

Freshman and violin player Carolynn Krueger introduced each of their songs, including their opening performance entitled Winter Fesitval, arranged by Victor Lopez.

The night was capped off with Merry Christmas and All that Jazz by the concert band.

The Christmas classic Feliz Navidad, in particular, was a favorite for High School Co-principal Ms. Jay-R Ka’awa and KSM Headmaster Ms. Lee Ann DeLima.

“It was a beautiful performance and nicely staged,” the headmaster said. It was “interesting” that students played music from the 70’s she said.  “It reminded me of my days at Kapālama.”

With this concert officially over, the band students will now turn to prepararations for the Band-O-Rama concert in the spring.