By Annie Tasaka
Hawaii Baptist Academy’s first Christmas TV Special, A Thrill of Hope, was televised and shared with the HBA community and our greater community throughout the month of December. Due to Covid restrictions, annual in-person end-of-the-year student performances took the form of a TV special airing on news stations and streaming online. HBA’s High School Wind Ensemble, the Soldiers of Light choir, Drama Department, and Halau Hula ‘O Ka Lama ‘Ula were showcased on the half-hour special.
The concert’s theme was drawn from the carol, “O Holy Night.” The carol’s celebratory lyrics inspired HBA’s theme “A Thrill of Hope.” The thrill of our Savior’s long-awaited coming was foretold to Adam and Eve and prophesied to be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
“Through our service projects, we hope that we can demonstrate Jesus’s love in a tangible way,” said HBA President Ron Shiira. “We want our students to know that it is the music of our hearts that truly demonstrates and helps share God’s love and hope.”
The Soldiers of Light prepared for the concert all semester. Freshman Randie Lueder said, “We have prepared by going over the songs over and over again to perfect them. Mr. Yo (Todd Yokotake ‘84, Choir Director) split us up into sections based on our vocal part, so we could tighten sound and harmonies. We also practiced taking off our masks and singing in groups while the rest of the choir critiqued our stage deportment. We also watched other virtual performances and took note of what they did well and what didn’t feel or look right. Critiquing each other and other companies helped us learn what we should and shouldn’t do. It’s been really exciting putting everything together and I believe our hard work paid off.”
For the students, performing for a video recording is a different experience than live performances. Senior Kira Hasuike said, “It’s not just technical-wise, but also mental. Unlike in a live performance, we didn’t have the same adrenaline rush recording in a studio with a mic as we would on stage. Instead of just singing in front of a crowd in one go, we recorded our voices separately and then filmed ourselves lip-syncing to a track while trying to make it look as real as it would in a live performance. In addition, we filmed ourselves while trying to make it look ten times more interesting since people tend to lose focus faster watching pre-recorded television rather than a live concert.”
The atmosphere of a live concert does not translate into the viewer’s home well, transferring the burden of captivating the audience onto the performers. “That’s why we really had to push ourselves to sing even more expressively than we do in live concerts and really try to imbed the emotion into the song we’re singing,” Hasuike adds.
Excerpted from an article that appeared in the Student Newspaper “Eagle Eye”. Reprinted with permission.
View the entire broadcast at: