Videos: Mililani High School Chorus


I’m a proud alumnus of Mililani High School, and this year, I’m also a proud parent of a Mililani High School senior. My daughter Katie is developing a passion for the performing arts, and joined both the MHS theater and chorus programs. Of course that means year-end performances before family and friends, giving me a chance to embarrass her by sitting in the front row, waving and clapping with extra gusto.

The 2015 MHS Music Department Winter Concert was held at the Pearl City Cultural Center, and featured the many different student orchestra, band, and chorus groups. Of course I was primarily interested in ‘Choice of Voice,’ the first-year chorus group, which performed a few songs and also joined with the other chorus groups in combined performances.

If you’ll indulge a sentimental dad on Christmas Eve, I invite you to enjoy a few minutes of teen-powered music, led by chorus director Keane Ishii and student conductor Jamie Cambra.

Omnia Sol (Let Your Heart be Staid)” is a song I hadn’t heard before. Inspired by a line from the medieval Latin text “Carmina Burana,” composer Z. Randall Stroope pays tribute to the people who have touched our lives as we go our separate ways… definitely fitting for high school seniors.


Carol of the Bells” is now over 100 years old, a Christmas classic and perhaps almost cliche. It also just happens to be one of my favorites. I thought it was interesting that Ishii’s arrangement omits the final phrase, which follows a dramatic pause that usually inspires audiences to start clapping early. Problem solved!


Shout Glory” by Byron Smith is a triumphant gospel piece that inspires improvisation and offers opportunities to highlight solo singers.


Shenandoah” is a traditional American folk song dating back to the 19th century, a riverman’s song turned sea shanty.


The crowd pleaser of the evening was “Cups,” also known as “When I’m Gone” or simply “The Cup Song.” Originally an a capella piece from 1931, the U.K. psychedelic rock band Lulu and the Lampshades introduced the use of cups as percussion. It then rocketed to pop culture prominence after being featured in the 2012 film “Pitch Perfect.” It’s an interesting story, but its just fun to listen to (and incredibly catchy).


Just try to get that out of your head.


That concludes the Mililani High School portion of this blog post, but as a bonus, I offer a few performances by the chorus students at Aiea Intermediate School, led by my brother Todd (a music teacher there). They also performed “Carol of the Bells” (dramatic pause included), among other songs.


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