Happy Holidays 2021 from Na Leo Lani Chorus

Na Leo Lani sends you our very best wishes for a healthy, joyous, and harmonious holiday season with our version of “Silent Night,” with lyrics in English, Japanese, and Hawaiian, reflecting chorus members’ multicultural heritage and our love for the islands we call home.

Click the video below to watch our musical Christmas card.

Music and lyrics by Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber, acapella arrangement by Arlene Fox, video-editing by Randy Sahae.

Rehearsing “in the mask”

After twenty months on Zoom, the ladies of Na Leo Lani are thrilled to be back together live and in person! Rehearsing with masks on wasn’t so hard for us to get used to — after all, as any fan of Darlene Rogers’s “Sing, Baby, Sing” warm-ups knows, singers are supposed to “stay in the mask”!

Here’s what singing “in the mask” looks like from warm-ups to sectionals, plus one group photo with our actual smiling faces. 🙂

Would you like to sing with us? Please see our “Join Us” page.

Join us on December 5 for a holiday concert to benefit the Hawai`i Theatre

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.

Please support the Hawai`i Theatre Center with your $20 per device donation (plus $2 processing charge) to watch the concert premier online on December 5 at 4:00 p.m. HST. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Hawai`i Theatre. Click here for the instructions and access to the online concert streaming link: https://hawaiitheatre.secure.force.com/ticket/#/events/a0S5c00000FZC5xEAH

UPDATE December 6: We hope you enjoyed the music! We hope to be able to share a video of the performance soon. Stay tuned.

An ensemble of Na Leo Lani singers gathered onstage at the Hawai’i Theatre on November 27 for the benefit concert recording.

Harmonizing again

Na Leo Lani has begun rehearsing in person again! For the past several weeks, our singers have been gathering for special weekend rehearsals on the front lanai of Director Christine Wee’s house in preparation for a live recording in support of the Hawai’i Theatre. The recording will be part of a benefit concert organized by the Sounds of Aloha Chorus, and will feature SOA, multiple quartet performances, and a special guest performance by Na Leo Lani. Stay tuned for details about when the benefit concert will be aired and how to watch.

In the meantime, here’s what live rehearsals look like in November in Hawai’i — masked up and in the open air:

Masked but marvelous — baris and basses hard at work.
Leads and basses, mostly off-paper!

Get your Very Merry tickets & support Na Leo Lani!

Na Leo Lani Chorus is fundraising through the Kahala Mall Very Merry Event this holiday season!

For the low price of $5.00, you can obtain a Very Merry pass, which grants you access to dozens of special discounts, in-store specials and giveaways Friday, December 10 though Sunday, December 12 at Kahala Mall.

Click here for the list of participating merchants.

Enjoy discounts on your holiday shopping and help support Na Leo Lani Chorus at the same time. 🙂

Please contact a chorus member or email naleolanichorus@gmail.com to purchase a Very Merry ticket today.

100% of your ticket purchase goes to support Na Leo Lani!

Longtime NLL member receives recognition for 2021 AARP Andrus Award

Our very own Rosie Ramiro, longtime Na Leo Lani member and chorus volunteer, was recently recognized by the AARP for her contributions to the chorus and many other causes. In addition to serving as Leads section leader and stints on the NLL Board, Rosie uses her creative talents to make costume accessories that keep us looking festive, floral, and fantastic. When the pandemic began, she turned her sewing skills to making hundreds of face masks for frontline workers. In honor of Rosie’s boundless generosity and energy, fellow chorus member Noel Eto thoughtfully nominated her for the Andrus Award, which recognizes “outstanding individuals age 50 and older who are sharing their experience, talents and skills to enrich the lives of others.”

See excerpts from Noel’s nomination, below. And for the latest on Rosie’s volunteer work, see this Star Advertiser article on the new Acopan Garden at the Manoa Heritage Center — a project close to her heart.

Rosie with her Certificate of Appreciation: “Rosie is a shining example of empowering people to choose how they live as they age.”

Nomination highlights:

“During the 2020-2021 COVID 19 pandemic lockdown, Rosie has personally sewn and donated over 1,500 face masks to Lanakila Clinic and hundreds of surgical caps, wheelchair bags and lap blankets for Kuakini Hospital. Rosie was nominated and received an award from Hawaii National Bank’s “Hometown Heroes” for her generous mask donations.

“Rosie also became a volunteer assistant to the ukulele instructor at Lanakila Senior Center, after taking the classes herself.

“Rosie has been a member of NaLeo Lani chorus (NLL), the Hawaii chapter of Sweet Adelines International (SAI), a women’s a cappella group for nearly twenty years. During that time she’s served voluntarily on the Board of Directors.

“For NLL, Rosie is the Lead section leader and the lead singer in NLL’s premier quartet, Friends (and sews costumes for them, too). Rosie prints and delivers sheet music to homebound (and not so technical) chorus members. She keeps in touch and visits with members now in care homes. She also donates face masks as prizes for games during NLL’s Zoom rehearsal sessions.

“Rosie participated in SAI’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion project which included reviewing NLL’s 50 songs of their current repertoire. She researched the history, composer and language of each song to insure that there was no trace of racism, sexism or any inadvertent negative message. This is being done worldwide by Sweet Adelines International.”

Rosie has also become an active presence with the Manoa Heritage Center. She recently gave a presentation about Filipinos in Manoa Valley for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and she recorded an oral history of her family in Manoa Valley for Malama Manoa

Team leader visit from out of town!

With interacting safely again being possible and travel resuming for many people, we are looking forward to welcoming singers from out of town. Recently, we welcomed Brooke Cholka, Team Leader for High Desert Harmony Chorus in Reno, who joined us online for our Halloween rehearsal on Zoom while she was visiting Honolulu.

Brooke and fellow tenor Kieko Matteson also met up at Kieko’s place for coffee and a great Sweet Adeline-to-Sweet Adeline chat. Lovely meeting you, Brooke! We hope to see you in Reno soon — if not in 2022, at least at competition in 2023!

We may be tiny tenors, but we pack a vocal punch!

Spooky singers celebrating Halloween

Well folks, it’s October 2021 and we are still at it — spirited singing apart but together on line! In honor of Na Leo Lani’s longstanding tradition of celebrating Halloween with Krazy Kwartets at rehearsal, we dressed up in full crazy costume garb, answered Halloween riddles, and worked out with gusto with holiday-themed vocal warm-ups. See some of the fun below.

Zooming with pizzazz!

We never thought we’d still be singing online a year and half after our first, quickly assembled, Zoom rehearsal back in March 2020! Alas, even though we are all fully vaccinated and eager to resume harmonizing IN REAL LIFE, the ever-mutating virus has had other plans for us. We had a brief resumption of in-person ensemble rehearsals in July with small groups of members singing outside in the fresh air with masks on — what joy to hear chords ring again! But then the Delta variant arrived on Oahu’s shores, and in the interest of precaution and in keeping with public health regulations, we ceased those gatherings.

When safety permits, we will start singing together in-person again. We are so looking forward to that day! — but for now , we are staying safe and tuneful online — apart but still together. If you are a prospective member, or just want to check out what we do, please see our “Join Us” page for info on visiting our Zoom rehearsals, now at a new day of the week — Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.

Here are a couple of photos from our recent August 2021 rehearsals online.