The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Voices of Aloha choir is on their Canada and U.S. east coast concert tour until June 17.
The choir is made up of 25 current and former UH Mānoa music students, two faculty members and one ʻukulele player. Their 13-day tour stops in Montréal, Canada and five states on the U.S. east coast where they will perform Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Tahitian, English, Filipino and American pieces.
“We can be kind of an artistic face for Mānoa,” said Associate Professor Miguel Ángel Felipe. “We’ll travel, we’ll recruit, we’ll offer opportunities for alumni to reconnect and we’ll bring the name Mānoa to the whole eastern seaboard.”
The tour includes nine concerts, two high school workshops, two clinics with prominent conductors and one church service, but many of the students say they are looking forward to their visit to the Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York the most.
“I think to bring some sort of joy through music to people that might not have it all the time is really exciting for us,” said music student and choir member Vanessa Gabrielle Maldonado.
The Voices of Aloha singers are not only serving as musical ambassadors for UH and Hawaiʻi. The Montréal to Manhattan tour is also an opportunity to give the students something they can’t get in a classroom.
“We will sing the same repertoire for 13 days, which is a lot more like a professional opportunity than an academic opportunity,” said Felipe. “So it increases the students value in their music experience at Mānoa.”