We all recognize the eerie John Williams two-note theme that grows into a serious bit of panic. When “Jaws” came out in 1975 I went to see it with my mother (safety tip: don’t go to scary movies with your mother unless you want to lose an arm…when the guy’s head rolled out of the sunken boat she grabbed me in a vice-like grip and didn’t let go until 1977). It was one of the first summer “blockbusters” and somehow Steven Spielberg managed to scare the pants off people despite the fact that the animatronic shark (that the movie’s crew named Bruce) looked ridiculously fake.

I didn’t even swim in a LAKE for a long time.

It also contained one of the best ad-libs ever when Roy Scheider, after seeing Bruce behind the “Orca” for the first time, backs slowly into the cabin and and says, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Classic.

I suspect Susie has much the same reaction when she’s putting together the repertoire for a new season and passes on some pieces thinking, “We’re gonna need a bigger orchestra”. Can you perform Brahms’ “Requiem” with just a pianist (even when it’s our truly awesome Joanne)? Sure. You can also make a pizza with just dough and no toppings or sauce. It’ll work but it isn’t all that satisfying.

Even a small orchestra adds magic to music, especially choral music. The brass section at last year’s holiday concert (mahalo Marines)  made the room shake and the pieces they performed with us were lifted to new heights. Imagine how we’d sound with all of the instruments that a major choral work calls for. Seriously epic.

So here’s the thing…musicians cost money. Yeah, our ukulele player is free but professionals aren’t. If you want to hire the big guns you’ll be working with the Musicians’ Association of Hawaii union and their standards and policies. It’s a fact of life that union member musicians cost more. It’s also a fact of life that they are the best in the business and when you hire one to accompany you they’re on time, well rehearsed and always awesome. You get what you pay for.

Entering our 9th (!!!) season, our 100 voices are more than ready to tackle something big. Really big. We-need-an-orchestra big. Can you imagine how Kailua would respond to this? Or this? We’re already part of the fabric of our little town  but this would take it to another level and really have an impact.

And how do we get there? Two tasks…1) rehearse our okoles off to make the magic happen and 2) raise the funds necessary to have the best orchestra we can. The first is what our Tuesday evenings are about, the second is what the Joy of Music fundraiser is about. Our dues cover only a fraction of the costs associated with the everyday nuts and bolts of running a non-profit organization, our biennial best-party-ever handles the rest and, if we get it right, the expenses that transform us from a great choir (which we already are) to a massively awesome celebration of the arts.

That sounds really fun to me.

This takes all of us working together so if you’re not already involved, dive in. Send your friends to the ticket sale page on our web site. Help to grow our silent auction. Volunteer your time and energy. If this is your first JOM you’re in for a shock; there’s nothing quite like it. It’s not just a typical fundraiser, it’s always an epic evening of music and fun and moments that stick with you. Our small army of volunteers never fail.

And if we add you, the army is not so small.