What do Mozart, the Sistine Chapel and Oahu Have in Common?

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Mozart, the Sistine Chapel, BBC’s The Choir, and Oahu?–what do these things have in common?
Before BBCA’s new summer-hit series The Choir, the word “choirmaster” was not heard in mainstream conversation in Hawaii.  However, Oahu churches do boast a few truly gifted choirmasters, and one is Rev. Daniel J. Werning, MCM, MAR, who is doing a project similar to that seen on The Choir.

Werning is currently auditioning voices island-wide on Oahu for a community choir unlike anything on Oahu, to be called the “Hawaii Sacred Choir,” unique in its ethereal sound produced by treble choir boys and choir girls singing with adult alto/countertenor, tenor and bass voices.

If you have heard choirs from King’s College or the Sistine Chapel, you will recognize this “chicken-skin” sound.
The purpose of the choir is to revive and perform sacred choral literature from plainsong (Gregorian chant) through present cathedral repertoire.  Werning, a Master of Church Music (choral direction and organ) and Master of Arts Religion, brings historical perspective in addition to performance technique to his role as choirmaster and organist of the Hawaii Sacred Choir.

Everyone in the choir–even children–will learn special techniques needed to sing this style as well as the history of each piece.

Some of the pieces to be sung are the most complex and beautiful ever written.  One of them, Allegri’s Miserere Mei Deus, originally was sung only in the Sistine Chapel!  Because young prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart took it down in secret dictation, it is now performed worldwide by the best choirs.
Auditions for the Hawaii Sacred Choir have been extended into mid-September.  Werning hopes to hear hundreds of voices before then!  Simple 15-minute auditions include:  Singing notes played on piano, singing a simple song–even “Happy Birthday”, and agreeing to commit to the project.

The Hawaii Sacred Choir is a nondenominational, independent organization which thanks St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (Kapahulu) and St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral (Catholic–Kalihi-Palama) for providing locations for rehearsals and concerts.

Parents of minor-aged children are always welcome at our child-safe rehearsals.
This charter year’s goal:  To produce a professional recording ASAP.  First concert scheduled 7 p.m., December 3, 2010, St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral.  Mark your calendars now!

Parents of 4th graders and older plus adult applicants (every age, every background) encouraged to call 220-6969 for immediate auditions & scholarship contest.  If you have a singing voice, we want to hear it!

Submitted by Rev. Dan Werning, Choirmaster of the Hawaii Sacred Choir. See more at http://home.rr.com/hawaiisacredchoi

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