Each summer Hawaii Performing Arts Festival brings together an outstanding faculty of internationally recognized performers, directors and teachers with a select group of aspiring music students from all over the world for an intense study and performance program. This year they will be holding 30 performances from today-July 26th in performance venues such as the Kahilu Theater in Waimea, the ballroom of the Four Seasons, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel luau grounds, the Palace in downtown Kona and even in Huggo’s where attendees will be treated to musical theater and Broadway tunes on July 12th.
I got involved this year through my friend Beth Dunnington who directed the Pre-Teen Singers Program in Waimea, a one week intensive for kids who love to sing and perform. Beth encouraged my 13 year old daughter to participate and on her first day, she was excited to tell me that a HPAF voice teacher gave her one on one vocal training. She also worked with a HPAF musical director and choreographer. Beth taught the kids “acting the song” to inspire their creativity while performing their solos. (Beth, an accomplished actor, will be playing the Witch in “Into the Woods” being held July 25-26th at the Kahilu Theater.) The kids ages 9-14 performed solos at the Davies Chapel at HPA along with a few group performances last Friday and it was heartening to see how far they had come with the intensive training after only a week.
The Pre-Teen program is all part of the “bring an expert” to Hawaii aspect of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. The Festival is not just about performing for Big Island audiences. The organizers bring together talented young people from all over the country who will have a chance to get experience through internships, (like running the front of the house of a theater, putting together programs, blogging for publicity for the shows, etc) and learning from exceptional performers. Professional musicians provide “Master Classes” for residents on the island AND to visitors who come to the Big Island for these next two weeks to learn and perform.
If you plan on being on island or if you are lucky to live here and love live performance art, JULY IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!
Here is a “cheat sheet” of the upcoming performances that start this week and you can go to the Festival website for more information and to get tickets and learn about ticket packages, too. For $325 you can get a concert ticket package including front row seats to many of the highlight events of the Festival.
Executive Director Genette Freeman cofounded the Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival in 2005 with Artistic Director Val Underwood and has served as Executive Director since its inception. Ms. Freeman has worked hard to offer a variety of performances to inspire and entertain Festival goers of every age!