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!”
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.
Featuring the Sounds of Aloha Chorus & special guest Na Leo Lani!
Mark your calendars for Sunday, December 5, 4:00 p.m. Hawaii time for “Songs of the Season,” a special concert to benefit the Hawai‘i Theatre Center. The pandemic has been hard on all live music venues, and the Hawaii Theatre is no exception. To help this cultural landmark weather the storm and, hopefully, to mark a turning point toward better days ahead, the Sounds of Aloha Chorus has organized a benefit concert featuring all your holiday favorites, sung by the mellifluous male voices of SOA, plus six quartets, small ensembles, and a special guest appearance by Na Leo Lani! As you can can see in the photo from our recording session, the ladies of NLL are overjoyed to be on the risers and singing together in-person again.
In 2020, while all of Honolulu was under pandemic lockdown orders, O’ahu’s three barbershop choruses — Na Leo Lani, the Sounds of Aloha Chorus, and Honolulu Blend Show Chorus — came together to overcome the gloom and learn a new song together for our first-ever virtual performance. It was a steep learning curve, but the results — a joyful blend of male and female voices in upbeat celebration — were well worth it. Many thanks to Adam LeFebvre of Sounds of Aloha for his extraordinary editing skills. Enjoy the performance by clicking HERE: “If There’s Anybody Here From Out of Town.”
In January 2021, we hosted our first-ever Guest Night on Zoom. Guest Nights are a longstanding tradition with Na Leo Lani. In the past, we have invited friends, relatives, fellow barbershoppers from other O’ahu choruses, and prospective members to come check us out and join in the fun of singing together. In keeping with this year’s Guest Night theme, “Good Night!”, we showed up in our pajamas, sleep masks, hair curlers, and other must-have elements of a musical slumber party and had a great time dancing, singing tags, and outdoing each other explaining why OUR parts (tenor, lead, baritone, and bass) are the BEST of all. Mahalo for coming!
See below for the flyer and a screen shot of the fun.
In August 2020, Na Leo Lani celebrated its 45th anniversary with a virtual birthday bash attended by friends from around the world. Our president, Dana Taylor, put together a slideshow of photos and memorabilia from our first four and a half decades. Our vice-president, Pam Ednie, emceed a live fashion parade of some of the many elegant costumes we have performed in over the years.
In February 2020, Na Leo Lani joined with women’s choruses from around O`ahu to sing in the No Na Wahine Festival. What a joy it was to raise our voices with so many other wonderful women from the islands in the gorgeous chapel of Sacred Hearts Academy. Enjoy our performance here of “Sha-Boom,” “Will You Promise to Be True,” and “Hawaiian Lullaby.”