Fall “Pops” Into the Spotlight

Fall Pops is the first seasonal concert out of four throughout the school year.

Photo by Faustine Miura

Fall Pops is the first seasonal concert out of four throughout the school year.

McGwire Ishikawa, Reporter

     On Sept. 25, MHS held its third annual “Fall Pops” concert. This concert is the first of the school year to bring together the different sections of the music department: Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Prima Voce, Choice of Voice, Ke Kulana Papa Himene O Mililani, Wind Ensemble and String Ensemble.

     “Being the first concert of the year for all of our students is just a way for us to get into the concert season,” said Orchestra and concert band director Bryan Hirata. “The idea is to play lighter music, or pop music, more popular styles of music to introduce the concert season to our families and friends.”

     The event was started two years ago by Music Band Director Derek Ka’apana. His goal was to start a mini-concert to present to the parents what their children have been doing in band. “It’s just an event held in the gym, but he only made it for Symphonic Band at first. Then the next year, all the bands and everybody started joining in, and now this year, it’s the same thing,” said Senior band student Allyson Munemitsu.

     The music directors spent around two months teaching students the different pieces. It required a lot of work to prepare them for the upcoming performance. “So the equivalent to it would be like you learning how to read words, and then you’d be able to read a book. Same concept. You need to learn how to read the music for you to apply it,” said choir and guitar director Bryson Terazono. Hirata added, “Being the first concert of the year as well, we try and stress, well I try to stress the appropriate ways to prepare. That includes each individual knowing his or her part, and once the individual knows his or her part, then we can come together and put the music together as an ensemble, as a group, as a big group.”

     The performers spent a lot of time and effort in preparing for the event. They had to learn what they were playing or singing by breaking down and learning the notes before actually performing them. “Everyday, we warm up and we stretch because that’s just what we do, and then we sing and we usually jump between the songs so that it doesn’t get boring,” said Junior choir student Erin Fujimura. “We just have to work on all of those things so that it sounds amazing.”

     During the concert, the students performed songs such as “Hawai’i Aloha” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” The goal was to play songs that interested both the audience, as well as the student performers. “I liked a couple of the performances the most. The first song from the choir, ‘I Believe,’ that was so touching. Then one of the songs that played in Symphonic Band with Kpan (Ka’apana) was ‘Esprit de Corps,’” said Munemitsu.

     Rather than performing in separate groups, the students performed together, creating a more energetic tone. The energy is what the performers felt made this concert more memorable.  “Out of the past three times I’ve experienced Fall Pops, I think this one would be one of the best. There was a lot more energy into the concert itself from everybody.” said Munemitsu. Fujimura added, “I think there’s a different energy because when we do other concerts, it’s either just one part of the music department or it’s one at a time.”

     Overall, the performers and music directors felt that the concert was a success, and that the night flowed really well. They believe that being well organized was what led to such a good outcome. “I feel like the event went relatively well because the band sounded really good, and as a choir, we sounded really good,” said Junior choir student Jenesis Finks. Terazono added, “As long as the kids have fun, and they feel good about it, then I’m good about it.”

     The next concert that MHS will be participating in will be the MHS Winter Concert on Dec. 15, at the Pearl City Cultural Center.