Children’s choir to sing at Pacific Rim Festival in Hawaii

It is certain to be an extraordinary experience for the young choristers, and for some, their first time on a commercial airliner and first trip outside the continental United States.

Forty-eight members of the celebrated Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC), their director, Julia White and 36 adult chaperones and companion travelers will participate in the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival being held July 13-23 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Pacific Rim Festival is designed to provide treble children’s choirs, grades 6 through 12, an opportunity to experience the cultures of the Pacific Rim countries through their choral music repertoire in an interactive, non-competitive, creative environment.

SVCC's trip to Hawaii in 2005
Choristers (l. to r.) Ellie Weaver, Stephanie Kozel, Emma Potter, and Kelsey Landes enjoy the SVCC’s 2005 trip to the Pacific Rim Festival.

The SVCC has held six practices this spring and will rehearse again nightly July 7-10 before leaving for the trip July 13. They will sing selections from many countries, including Japan, Philippines, Korea, Canada, Colombia, China, Samoa, New Zealand, Mexico, and the US, including Hawaii.

“Many choir members have worked really hard, doing jobs and saving money to go,” Ms. White said. “Some have never flown before, so that will be an adventure in itself, and singing 14 songs from memory in nine different languages is no small feat.”

In addition to performing at two major Hawaii concert venues with 12 children’s choirs (around 400 choristers) from the US and Canada, SVCC members will learn Polynesian dances with native instructors, practice text and language with native speakers, observe ethnic music and dance performances of Pacific Rim culture, and make indigenous instruments at the Polynesian Culture Center.

“This is such a stretching experience for our children, and friendship and cooperation are at the center of all of the activities,” White said. “We look forward to sharing our music and what we have learned with our home audience in August.”

The SVCC will present a concert 7 p.m. Aug. 14 in EMU’s Lehman Auditorium featuring the songs and dances in costume that they perform at the festival. Hawaiian decorations will grace the stage, and a reception will follow. The program is open to the community and tickets will be available at the door – adults $12, seniors and students $10, children 12 and under $7.