After months of rehearsals and many challenges along the way, we sailed through our competition recording yesterday with full-throated joy. What a journey it has been!
Thank you so much to our director, Christine Wee; to the Region 12 recording team of Mary Mamer, Donna Prochazka, Randy Sahae, and Joanna Davis, who flew all the way out to Hawai’i for a quick, 48-hour whirlwind of lights, camera, and action; to the men of Sounds of Aloha who volunteered hours of their day to assist with the event; and to our Vice-President, Kristi Dagdagan, who organized an elegant and bounteous Afterglow. Each of you was masterful in your attention to detail, planning, and performance. Our kids, too, rose to the occasion, tirelessly putting in hours of work to set up and clean up the party. The delicious food and beautiful setting of the Afterglow made for the perfect ending to our 2022 contest experience.
Most of all, thank you to our amazing chorus members, who stayed together through two and half long years of Zoom rehearsals, masked rehearsals, and rehearsals in unusual and less than ideal settings. As the lyrics of one of our contest songs goes, “There is a feeling deep in my heart . . . It’s a feeling heavenly!” Uniting in harmony truly is heavenly. Thanks, ladies, for making it happen.
Na Leo Lani was invited in April to sing the Star Spangled Banner and Hawai’i Pono’i at the first annual awards ceremony of the University of Hawai’i’s inaugural Naval ROTC unit. It was an honor to be a part of this special event. Congratulations to all the students, and thank you for the opportunity to sing for you.
As you can tell from the photos, we had a great time warming up before the show:
Putting the “non-aging” in “nonagenarian,” one of our longtime members, Ruth de Mesa, recently celebrated her 90th (!!) birthday, which fell on our regular weekly rehearsal night. A loyal alumna of Roosevelt High School, Ruth didn’t miss a beat when our Birthday Captain, Wally, asked her to sing the Rough Rider’s school song.
Enjoy this video of Ruthie belting out “Ever faithful, ever true; Roosevelt, to thee our song shall be– All Hail! Hail! Hail!”
Recently featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Back in the Day” / Archive section was this photo from October 30, 1969 of the Air Fares of California, participating in the Sweet Adelines 23rd annual International Convention and Quartet Competition in Honolulu.
Do you recognize any of the women in this photo? If so, let us know!
The caption reads” The Air Fares from California are among 41 ladies’ barbershop quartets competing for the championship at the Sweet Adelines 23rd annual International Convention and Quartet Competition at the Honolulu International Center.”
Na Leo Lani is back to in-person rehearsals! We kicked off our return with a socially distanced approach — two sectionals of basses and leads in one room and baris and tenors in the other. It made for interesting harmonies and a great opportunity to hear each others’ parts for the first time while fine-tuning our own.
Interested in joining us or simply sitting in on a rehearsal to see what our chorus is about? See the “Join Us” page for current rehearsal location, times, and Covid guidelines.
Rehearsals are returning to in-person format from February 17 onward. For now, to keep numbers consistent for social distancing planning purposes, we are not encouraging guest participation. However, please contact the chorus at naleolanichorus [at] gmail.com if you would like to come check out our practices and learn more about the art of women’s four-part barbershop harmony.
In-person rehearsals will commence on February 17 and continue for the foreseeable future on Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Rooms 4 & 5, 1404 University Ave, Honolulu, HI 96822. In keeping with Hawai`i state public health guidelines, the chorus requires that all in-person rehearsal attendees — members, visitors, and prospective members alike — show proof of completed Covid-19 vaccination and follow rehearsal protocols (singing with masks on, maintain social distance as indicated by our director, and taking breaks for fresh air). See you all soon!
In the meantime, enjoy this Valentine’s Day pic of our most recent (and hopefully last for a long while!) online rehearsal.
Thanks to the rapid spread of the omicron variant, we went back on line in January and will continue holding online rehearsals on Zoom on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. through February 9.
Please contact naleolanichorus [at] gmail.com for Zoom link:
When we do return in person (hopefully from February 17 onward!), our rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. In keeping with state public health guidelines, we require all attendees of our in-person rehearsals to show a one-time proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and sing masked (a singer’s mask, N-95, or KN-95 mask is preferred if you have one). Thank you for your understanding as we work to ensure that all of our members, young and old, can sing together in the safest feasible conditions.
Until then, we are having a good time online. In addition to working on the songs that we will be singing for our SAI International contest recording in May, we enjoy lots of laughs competing with each other for the best interpretation of our weekly themes. This week’s theme was “what’s your Chinese Zodiac animal?”
We look forward to welcoming visitors and prospective members again, so please email us at email@example.com if you would like to join us.
Many thanks to all of you who ordered online from Panda Express for Lunar New Year on February 1 and used fundraiser code 906118 during online checkout. Na Leo Lani received 28% of sales. The proceeds will go toward the costs of our SAI International contest recording in May.
We will hold another Panda Express fundraiser later in the year, so save your hankerings for orange chicken and egg rolls, because your chance to order Panda online and support Na Leo Lani at the same time will come again soon! Thank you!
Na Leo Lani Chorus was thrilled to perform the U.S. national anthem and Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī for the Diamond Head Classic Basketball Tournament at UH Manoa on December 22. Watch our video, below, and sing along with us!
For the tournament opener between Northern Iowa University and Liberty University, we sang the Star Spangled Banner and Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī.
At our last rehearsal before our holiday break, the chorus enjoyed an impromptu performance by the Friends quartet. The pandemic has made it hard for Friends to get together over the past couple of years, so they had a great time hamming it up with “Let It Snow.” (Excerpt below.) Afterwards, the chorus did a few lightning rounds of Christmas favorites, from “Veni Veni” to “Ovah Da Pali.” Warmest wishes to all for a safe and healthy holiday season. We look forward to resuming rehearsals in January.