Moanalua’s Annual Winter Concert was carried out despite COVID-19. However, this year was a little different; Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble both performed their pieces in an online, virtual concert.
Each student of these two ensembles was given a deadline to complete videos of them playing each piece in one take with a backtrack. Then Music Director Elden Seta edited the 100-plus video clips together to create a seemingly integrated whole.
For the music department members, who already understand the high expectations under normal in-person practices, moving to an individual and virtual format was even more “challenging” and was definitely a “new experience”.
“During filming I get really nitpicking and would redo at every ‘mistake’ so I just thought that I’ll never get it.” junior Symphony Orchestra student, Amanda Raphaella Ibanez said. “But I kept working on it and I was able to get a good take.
“I thought it was much more frustrating than usual while filming as after filming for so long making mistakes makes you frustrated and kind of tired,” added sophomore Symphony Orchestra student Harrison Law.
Students on average spent from as little as one hour to a jaw-dropping five hours recording their pieces in total. Some students became frustrated due to filming many takes without producing the results they wanted. However, they did learn from the new challenge.
“I really took away the importance of individual work ethic in an ensemble and I want others to know that there is no obstacle that can not be beat,” Alissa Burich, a junior Symphonic Wind Ensemble student, said.
The concert was even featured on TV’s Hawaii News Now.
“I only expected our families and friends to watch it. When the news wanted a story on it, I was very surprised, but I also found that super exciting,” Rhynne Lee, a senior Symphony Orchestra student, said.
“I didn’t even expect to get the amount of publicity we got. I was surprised to hear it was on the news and how many people were watching it on YouTube,” senior Symphonic Wind Ensemble student Julian Tolbert said.
Students were surprised at the amount of publicity that their videos had gotten and were pleased with the positive feedback from a global audience.
“Music is a universal language that transcends time and distance. I believe in our simple performance from our simple houses to use music to communicate a message for good to the expansive world before us,” Kristyn Miyamoto, a junior Symphony Orchestra student said.
Though students individually faced their own challenges, they were able to learn from and enjoy the experience and were proud of the results that they produced. The touching feedback from their friends, family, and audience from around the world have motivated them to work even harder to uphold their love for music and express it.
If you would like to view the concert here are the links:
Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert: https://youtu.be/CR42lJxahxc
Symphonic Wind Ensemble: https://youtu.be/VDJEEyrHl3c