The Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands debuts in Honolulu with a Holiday Pops Concert Saturday, December 14, 6PM, at Calvary by the Sea Church, 5339 Kalanianaole Highway. Led by Resident Conductor Philip Simmons along with special guest Howard Dicus, the orchestra will perform music of Leroy Anderson, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Vladamir Rebikov, and Ilya Levinson. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, with children admitted free. They are available online at www.americanmusicfestivals.com, or at the Church Office during business hours, Monday through Friday.
Founded in 2010, the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands has given several concerts on the Big Island, performing a diverse repertoire spanning from Mozart to Queen Liliuokalani to Akutagawa. Their programs featured prominent Hawaiian guest artists Kohala and Danny Akaka Jr., who wrote the following about the upcoming Holiday event:
“Music is a wonderful vehicle that has the ability to transport one’s spirit through time and space. Music can also open the doorway to a variety of experiences. As we celebrate this blessed and joyous season, may the music of the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands, under the direction of conductor Phillip Simmons, uplift your spirit at this time of the year as we look towards a Season of Peace, Hope and Goodwill for all Mankind.”
In addition to the December 14 Holiday Pops Concert, the orchestra’s conductor Philip Simmons will appear in community and educational outreach events at One Kalakaua Senior Living on Dec. 6, the Aina Haina Library Dec. 10, and at the Calvary by the Sea Preschool on Dec 11. A Hawaii resident for nearly five years, Mr. Simmons has begun exploring Hawaiian culture, and has developed a great respect for the storied tradition of great orchestral music in Honolulu.
Originally from Chicago, he is the Music Director of the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, and Artistic Director of American Music Festivals, the nonprofit presenter of the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands. American Music Festivals is committed to promoting American music and cultural exchange, and has enabled Mr. Simmons to conduct in 20 countries. Recently he led a production of Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story with the State Music Theatre of Belarus, sponsored by the US Embassy in Minsk..
Howard Dicus will emcee the Holiday concert on December 14. He regularly can be seen weekday mornings on HawaiiNewsNow’s “Sunrise” program, and on Saturday mornings from 5am-7am hosts a music show on Hawaii Public Radio called “Howard’s Day Off.”
The December 14 Holiday Pops Concert at Calvary by the Sea Church is funded in part by a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, City and County of Honolulu. For more information, visit www.americanmusicfestivals.com or call 808-315-0885.