This summer will mark my first ever trip to Hawaii. For the past two years, I have had the great pleasure and privilege to study alongside director Jace Saplan at the University of Miami. Through this association, I have learned so much about the amazing heritage of the Hawaiian people. My interest and understanding have grown beyond this mystical, world-renowned vacation spot, or symbols such as plastic leis and hula dancing.
Considering that the United States that has never had a female president, I was so proud to learn of Queen Liliʻuokalani, whose music we will be performing and recording with Nā Wai. It is especially meaningful to sing music by a woman with the amazing and talented women in this ensemble. Having taught music in an educational system that often relegated my subject to an “extra” unworthy of instructional time equal to so-called “academic” subjects, I celebrate a monarch that was a composer herself. I also admire the deeply-rooted nature of music in Hawaiian culture and spiritual practice. With two parents born on the island of Cuba and having been born myself surrounded by water on the peninsula of Florida, I feel a great connection to Nā Wai’s new name and inspiration and wish them many more successful seasons as they embody their new identity!
I am greatly looking forward to experiencing this storied natural beauty first hand, making music together with my fellow water-inspired sisters in song, singing under the gracious and engaging Maestro Saplan, and hopefully bringing home some of North Shore Goodies’ famous Hawaiian coconut peanut butter that my aunt and uncle brought home from their own vacation to Hawaii!