Band brings Christmas spirit in Winter Concert


Photo by Destinee Murray

Mikaele Kane contributed his impressive ʻukulele skills alongside Aidan Lay on electric guitar for the jazz rock ensemble performance at the annual Winter Band Concert, Dec. 4, in Keōpūolani Hale.

Music filled the air when the high school concert band and jazz rock ensemble staged their Winter Band Concert at Keōpūolani Hale last night with a mix of Christmas and other favorite songs.

The performance had “moments that surprised me,” Band Director Siuai Laufou said. This was a first public performance for some of the students.

Mr. Laufou said he prepared his students for the performance with “every-day grinding” and “a lot of repetition.”

Baritone player and freshman Kaimana Idica said that his favorite part was their first piece, Winter Holidays, because they got the song down and had it sound great in a short amount of time.

The concert band portion of the program included:

  • Winter Holidays arranged by Sandy Feldstein and Larry Clark
  • Un Flamebeau Jeanetter, Isabelle (Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella) by Nicholas Saboly
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnut’s Roasting on an Open Fire) by Mel Torme and Bob Wells, arranged by Michael Sweeney
  • White Christmas by Irving Berlin

As the background changed and concert band students left the stage, the jazz rock ensemble took the stage and grabbed the attention of the audience with their opening song, Jammin’ With Charlie.

The jazz rock ensemble, although small with seven members, is filled with “fantastic” musicians according to Mr. Laufou. He said they learn fast and do well.

Mikaele Kane, a senior, went all out on the ʻukulele with two solos.

Shane Borge, a senior pianist, was pleased with their performance but added that “there’s always room for improvement.” He rocked the crowd on the keyboard.

“It was really jam-packed for us”, Borge said of his favorite song of the night, Buffalo Head.

Aidan Lay ripped the guitar on multiple solos and played for both the concert band and jazz rock ensemble.

The jazz rock ensemble program included:

  • Jammin’ With Charlie by Dean Sorenson and Bruce Pearson
  • Christmas Fantasy for Jazz Band (Emmanuel/What Child is This) arranged by Paul Clark
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy by Josef Zawinul, arranged by Robert Woods
  • Buffalo Head by Dean Soreson and Bruce Pearson
  • Hark, Those Herald Angels Rock! arranged by Paul Clark

Although there were minor technical difficulties, there was room for a little laughter while Mr. Laufou announced each song.

With this concert “under their belt,” Mr. Laufou said this concert gave the band experience that will help them with their “encore,” the Band-O-Rama concert in the spring.