25 Oct 2017

Holiday Pops Featuring Amy Hānaiali’i

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Join us for the first musicthatPOPS performance with our Holiday Pops featuring Amy Hānaiali’i 

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Enjoy a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays with the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra (HSO) at its annual Holiday Pops concert, part of its musicthatPOPS series, featuring Grammy-nominated vocalist Amy Hānaiali’i at 7:30 pm on Saturday, December 9. The 18-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner will fill the stage with song, hula and holiday joy as she joins the HSO for the first time singing songs from her Nā Hōkū award-winning Christmas Album, A Hawaiian Christmas.

Amy, who has been praised for her powerhouse vocals, will perform local holiday favorites such as Po La’i E (Silent Night), Hamau E Na Kanaka (Hark The Herald Angels Sing) and Mele Kalikimaka, popular holiday movie favorites, as well as beautiful arrangements of holiday classics such as Little Drummer Boy, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and White Christmas.

“A local holiday tradition, HSO Holiday Pops is the perfect blend of treasured Hawaiian music, traditional Christmas carols and contemporary holiday pop songs,” says Jonathan Parrish, HSO executive director, “and the performance is a heart-warming holiday spectacle to share with family and friends.”

The HSO will perform the festive classic the Nutcracker with Ballet Hawaii Friday, December 15, Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 – a performance sure to delight all ages.

Sarah Hicks – Conductor

Noted in the New York Times as part of “a new wave of female conductors in their late 20’s through early 40’s”, Sarah Hicks’s versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in “the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors”. In October of 2009 she was named Principal Conductor, Live at Orchestra Hall of the Minnesota Orchestra; in addition to conducting most Pops and Special Presentations, she has been instrumental in creating new Pops productions while also heading the innovative classical series, “Inside the Classics”. Hicks concurrently holds the positions of  Staff Conductor of the Curtis Institute of Music.  Throughout her career she has collaborated with diverse artists, from Jamie Laredo and Hilary Hahn to Josh Groban and Smokey Robinson; during the summer of 2011 she was on a two-month tour with Sting as conductor of the final leg of his Symphonicities Tour.  In June of 2012 she conducted the opening concert of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and program featuring Dmitri Hvrostovsky, Sumi Jo and Jackie Evancho.

Ms. Hicks has guest conducted extensively both in the States and abroad, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Atlanta Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic, RTE Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony Prime Philharmonic (Seoul, Korea), and the Orchestra of la Teatro Fenice.  She led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in July 4th concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in 2012, 2013 and 2015; upcoming concerts include return engagements in San Francisco and  Montreal  as well as debuts with the Calgary and Danish National Symphonies.

Ms. Hicks was a member of the Faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music from 2000-2005 and continues her affiliation with Curtis as Staff Conductor.  Her past positions include Associate Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Resident Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic, and Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Singers, the chorus of the Philadelphia Orchestra, whom she has led in radio broadcasts heard nationwide.  She has also been Music Director of the Hawaii Summer Symphony, an ensemble she founded in 1991 in her hometown of Honolulu and which she led for five seasons.

Ms. Hicks was invited to Japan by the New National Theatre Tokyo, where she acted as assistant conductor to a production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte  and has performed Verdi’s Aïda with the East Slovak State Opera Theater.  Her extensive work with the Curtis Opera Studio include performances of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites  and numerous vocal concerts; she led the Opera Studio’s production of Handel’s Alcina  in 2005 and led the Minnesota Orchestra in a semi-staged production of Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel  in 2009.

A committed proponent of the performance of new music, Ms. Hicks recently completed a Microcommission Project (the first of its kind) with the Minnesota Orchestra in which hundreds of people made microdonations to fund a major new work by composer Judd Greenstein.  She has led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in readings, recordings and performances of contemporary works. Her recording project with the Vermont Symphony, “Triple Doubles”, featuring music of Richard Danielpour and David Ludwig with Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, soloists was recently released on the Bridge Label.  She has also conducted performances with Composers in the Shape of a Pear (Cleveland) and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.

Sarah Hicks was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Honolulu, HI.  Trained on both the piano and viola, she was a prizewinning pianist by her early teens.  She received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University in composition; her AIDS Oratorio was premiered in May of 1993 and received a second performance at the Fogg Art Museum the following December.  She holds an Artists’ Degree in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller.  Ms. Hicks’s talents have been recognized with numerous prized and scholarships; she received the Thomas Hoopes Prize for composition and the Doris Cohen Levy Prize for conducting from Harvard University, and she was the recipient of the Helen F. Whitaker Fund Scholarship and a Presser Award during her time at Curtis.

In her spare time, Ms. Hicks enjoys running, yoga, her Papillon, cooking (and eating) with her husband, traveling and sketching.

Michael Titterton – Narrator

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there…

This classic Christmas tale of magic and wonder is often shared with children and families all over the world around the holidays. According to legend, Clement Clarke Moore wrote his celebrated poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas (also known as The Night Before Christmas) to read to his family on Christmas Eve 1822. Never intending that it be published, family friend Miss Harriet Butler, learned of the poem from Moore’s children, copied it into her album, and submitted it to the editor of the Troy (New York) Sentinel where it made its first appearance in print on December 23, 1823. Soon after, the poem was reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs and magazines as well as The New York Book of Poetry, edited by Charles Fenno Hoffman, in 1837.

It was not until 1844, however, that Moore acknowledged authorship in a volume of his poetry entitled Poems, published at the request of his children. One hundred and eighty years later, it is the most-published, most-read, most-memorized and most-collected book in all of Christmas literature.

Tonight, our very own HSO President, Michael Titterton will read this classic poem while accompanied by the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra. The Night Before Christmas, orchestration was composed by Randol Alan Bass and was originally commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra. This original and cinematic score includes numerous solos and sparkling orchestrations that musically stage the poem from beginning to end.