1990 was a year of new stuff. The Hubble Telescope was launched. (It didn’t work, but they fixed it eventually.) The first web server was created and, with it, the World Wide Web. Smoking was banned on cross-country flights in the US (Yay!). The last official flight of the SR-71 Blackbird was a leisurely cruise from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C in just over 64 minutes (that would be a tortoise-like 2,145 mph…oh my).

On the Big Island, the Kona Community Chorus was created by Director Ken Staton and choral music started to become part of the fabric of life on the leeward side. You can learn a little about where they’ve been and their 25-year journey on their website (www.konachoralsociety.org) but I wanted to take a little blog space to tell you WHO they are.

Like so many community choirs, the demographic is a true slice of life. From a dental hygienist to a realtor to a veteran music teacher, the voices come from all over to gather and sing. It’s one of those rare and wonderful opportunities for diverse people to accomplish amazing things with folks who, were it not for their shared love of music, may never have met. Having had the pleasure of meeting and performing with the group, I can assure you that they have enjoyed increasing their circle of dear friends. And seriously, isn’t that part of the magic of making music? “Me” becomes “We” and stunning things happen.

A little perspective for you: last fall, the local chapter of the American Choral Directors Association held a mass concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of choral music in Hawaii. That means that the Kona Choral Society has been making music for over HALF that time. Of all the community choirs in Hawaii, the grand total of them who have been singing longer than Kona would be…?


From our rehearsal hall to yours, congratulations to our friends (and often co-conspirators) in the Kona Choral Society. You’ve survived, thrived and grown to become an essential part of the arts on the Big Island and brought your spirit of aloha to so many people in so many places. You inspire us and we hope that we can climb our way to the lofty example that you’ve set for us. Ho’omaika’i ‘ana.

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald