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2021 Hawai'i Blog

DAY 1 - June 20, 2021

It was a long day getting to Hawaii, but we did it with great attitudes and flexibility. The COVID checkpoint was smooth as glass! Thanks to everyone for working hard to get the portals set up and COVID tests. It worked out perfectly!

Dinner was fun and much appreciated after our long day of travels. We walked to the hotel after dinner and made a quick stop at the beach. For these landlocked kids it was a highlight of the day! Some of us got wetter than others, but fun was had by all!  

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DAY 2 - June 21, 2021

Up bright and early to start another long day but what a fun day it was. After exploring the pineapple gift shop we were off to the Polynesian Culture Center where we enjoyed each village, especially the shows. People are touched by our kids’ enthusiasm and sincere desire to share their music with others. We are so proud of them!

Then we had a splendid time at the luau and the AMAZING show at the end of the evening. Volcanos erupting, waterfalls, beautiful costumes, and more made the evening a night to remember!

More to come tomorrow as we go to Pearl Harbor to sing two concerts in honor of those who lost their lives on that fateful day, December 7, 1941. We will learn a lot and will come back from the experience changed by the significance of this place.

Thanks to all of you for your loving support of these kids. They are representing you, our city, and our state with great love for music and authentic joy for what they are doing.  

DAY 3 - June 22, 2021

The weather was perfect today for our visit to Pearl Harbor, a remarkable national landmark. There was a slight breeze keeping us cool for the boat ride across to the USS Arizona Memorial. We traveled in silence through the stark building that sits atop the remains of this great battleship and the final resting place of the men who died that day in 1941. From the memorial we traveled on to the performance space for our first concert of the day. God Bless America, America the Beautiful, Hope Lingers On, and Dream a Dream took on new meaning in this historic place. After this concert we went to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum where we had lunch and learned from historian Steve about what led up to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the US involvement in WWII. There were several volunteers throughout the museum who also helped us understand different aspects and perspectives of this time in history. Our concert at the Aviation Museum was amazing. The acoustics in the airplane hangar were incredible. After the concert Ethan, CeCe, Victoria A., and Kamille accepted and folded the flag that was presented to us. This flag was flown over the USS Arizona on Memorial Day, 2019. We will treasure it always!

The day continued with a bus tour of Honolulu’s places of interest. We are looking forward to revisiting some of these places in depth, such as the Iolani Palace.

Our day culminated in a welcome dinner for the Festival where we got to meet the choirs we will be singing with the next 3 days. Our kids were wonderful minglers, meeting lots of new friends, as well as leading and learning new rhythm games. It is always so fun to watch them interface with singers from all over the nation. Music truly does bring people together!

During our nightly meeting we shared our thoughts and feelings about the Pearl Harbor experience. Your singers are thoughtful and insightful young people. We concluded our debrief with a newfound resolution to keep thinking about how to find solutions, asking good questions and hearing other’s perspectives in order to continue working towards a better world.

Thanks for sharing these great kids with us and now with friends from throughout the United States!  

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DAY 4 - June 23, 2021

Today we started rehearsing with Henry Leck and the choirs from Florida and Wisconsin. The combined choir is great already!! After rehearsal we walked to our concert venue, The Royal Grove Stage, which was a lovely setting for our 40 minute performance. Some friends from another Festival choir came to watch as well as our fans from Colorado Springs and many folks at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Then we had a good chunk of time to eat lunch at the beautiful food court and shop! Dinner was at the Honolulu Hard Rock Café. Guitars lined the ceiling and walls in this open air fun restaurant. It was unlike any Hard Rock Café we have ever seen in our travels. After dinner we walked to the beach and stuck our toes in the water, sang some campfire songs ending with Aloha Oe. Instead of s’mores we had malasadas, which are Portuguese doughnuts, from Honolulu’s famous Leonard’s Bakery. Stuffed and content we came back to the hotel for a fairly early bedtime! Good thing because we have an early morning tomorrow! 

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DAY 5 - June 24, 2021

We had an early start this morning with breakfast at IHOP and then back to the hotel for a Festival rehearsal all morning. Then, off we went for the much anticipated beach time! Just imagine the fun and amazement our Colorado kids had playing in the beautiful blue water and sand. For many this was a first time ocean experience. We had several hours at the beach before we headed back to the hotel to freshen up for our hula lessons with Nola Nahulu. The kids were looking pretty darn good by the end of the workshop!! Another exciting thing today was a fabulous dinner at a Japanese steakhouse complete with delicious food and culinary magic — think flames, balancing plates, juggling salt and pepper shakers, and more!! After dinner we walked back to the hotel for our nightly debrief meeting with everyone, then it was up to bed for sweet dreams.

DAY 6 - June 25, 2021

After a fantastic breakfast at a beachside restaurant we split up, some of us going back to the beach, some of us going shopping, and some of us staying at the hotel for naps and  pool time. Then it was time for dress rehearsal and the Festival concert! The concert was incredible. Our Lori and David took the singers to a whole different level. Mr. Leck and Nola were very impressed by our energetic and artistic performance!




DAY 7 - June 26, 2021

What a fun day we had today! First, we visited the Iolani Palace, the only palace in the United States. It was both a beautiful and poignant place to visit as it was the place where the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian kingdom was imprisoned prior to the take-over of Hawaii. Lots of history many of us never knew was shared in the tour. Then it was off to the Jurassic Park hike….talk about a complete 180!

The rainforest was lush and steamy!  Most of our mighty crew went to the top! There hasn’t been a lot of rain sot the waterfall was just a trickle, but still glorious! Then all had a treat of Dole Whip, pineapple shakes, pineapple bowls filled with fruit and Dole whip, etc. Yum!!

And if all of that wasn’t enough, we had a scavenger hunt throughout Waikiki! We don’t know who won but my group decided that we won because we had so much fun.


DAY 8 - June 27, 2021

We were up bright and early to get to the Kawaiaha’O Church. The people of the church greeted us with woven lei’s and a hug! It made our morning!! Then our kids made the morning of every person there with their music. The sermon for the morning was perfect for us. The minister talked about passing the baton and leaving a legacy. Our seniors took this to heart as they passed the baton to the juniors during our final tour meeting of this trip. More about that in a minute. After the two concerts at the church we got ready for our catamaran trip around Diamond Head. This was definitely a highlight of our trip!! Beautiful aquamarine and deep blue water, sea turtles, and smooth sailing with some bumps every so often made the trip perfect! From the catamarans we went to Kapiolani Park and were greeted by Uncle Bernard on ukulele and a beautiful hula dancer. We settled in for a yummy barbecue dinner and more hula lessons! We are getting pretty good at this art form! Our final tour meeting was in the park at sunset over the ocean. Our great emcee, Pelvis, had a long line-up of skits and reports for us. Lots of laughter ensued!! When the seniors started to lead campfire songs (flashlights on phones and Tom’s red head lamp on the ground made up our “campfire”) they went to a junior and passed “their” song to them to lead. We ended the evening with Dream a Dream — juniors singing to seniors to send them off, and freshmen and sophomores right behind them. It was a meaningful “snapshot” of CSCC in that moment.  


DAY 9 - June 28, 2021

We had another very early morning so that we could go catch some waves in canoes! We had a drill sergeant captain who showed no mercy to us Colorado folk, but when we got off of the canoes we truly felt that we had accomplished something! We are now packing up to get to the airport so I will sign off.  See you in Colorado tomorrow morning.

Signed, Marcia Hendricks

(edited for this webpage)

with photographs taken by Michael Foote and David Acton

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