Waimea Community Chorus puts on a show in NYC

  • Waimea Community Chorus members Duncan Dempster, Phyllis Aguiar, William Dudley-Cash, E.F. Cash-Dudley, Steven Kaplan, Rona Lee, Everett Knowles, Cecilia Johansen, Susan Mori, Avie Okin and Barbara Kopra stand in front of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center last Sunday before the concert. (COURTESY PHOTO/WCC)
    Waimea Community Chorus members Duncan Dempster, Phyllis Aguiar, William Dudley-Cash, E.F. Cash-Dudley, Steven Kaplan, Rona Lee, Everett Knowles, Cecilia Johansen, Susan Mori, Avie Okin and Barbara Kopra stand in front of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center last Sunday before the concert. (COURTESY PHOTO/WCC)
  • More than 200 singers from Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, Poland, Denmark and the U.S. take to the stage at David Geffen Hall to perform the “Viva la Musica de Argentina” show April 30. (COURTESY PHOTO/DCINY)
    More than 200 singers from Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, Poland, Denmark and the U.S. take to the stage at David Geffen Hall to perform the “Viva la Musica de Argentina” show April 30. (COURTESY PHOTO/DCINY)

WAIMEA — Waimea singers’ voices filled David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center Sunday as part of Distinguished Concerts International New York’s “Viva la Musica de Argentina” show.

Thirteen Waimea Community Chorus members were among more than 200 singers from Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, Poland, Denmark and the U.S. to blend voices that night, celebrating Argentinian classical music in the performance led by conductor Saul Zaks.

Touted a “stunning artistic achievement, (that) combined Spanish text with indigenous instruments and rhythms” by The Washington Post, DCINY invited the chorus to perform the show last September.

Other ensembles in the group included Conjunto Coral “San Sebastian,” Coro del Conservatorio de Lucena, Coral Pilar St. John’s, Coro ITMC, Deanery choir “Collegium vocale Kirchberg,” Sinfonischer Chor Greven, Ploener Kantorei, Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium Choir, Coro Bocconi and Edmund Rice Choir.

The concert honored Argentinian composer Martín Palmeri with the world premiere of Tango Credo paired with Ariel Ramírez’s “Misa Criolla,” inspired by a group of nuns he met in Germany after World War II.

“Misa Criolla” was one of the first masses written with Spanish text rather than Latin, and used folk genres such as chacarera, carnavalito and estilo pampeano with Andean influences and instruments. Together, Misa Criolla and Tango Credo weave cultures and musical histories from across the world into one to share a new genre with audiences.

As of 2016, more than 35,000 performers representing 41 countries and all 50 U.S. states have participated in a DCINY production.

“It was an incredible weekend for all of us, with an all-day workshop on Saturday and rehearsal with performance on Sunday,” WCC’s Director Barbara Kopra said. “Performing in Lincoln Center was a first for all 13 of us.”

Among the highlights were walking through the back doors and onto stage, and creating energy and excitement while singing under the director of a world-renowned conductor.

“Jonathan was an inspiring, cajoling and demanding conductor striving for perfection,” she said.

The show had three parts, and WCC performed in the second portion singing “Misa Criolla” as part of a combined chorus with singers from Argentina, Italy, Germany and New York. About 2,000 people attended the show.

Chorus member Susan Mori reflected, “I was amazed at how quickly we were able to bond with fellow singers with such diverse backgrounds. This says something about the power of music.”

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