Play On! The song continues

Oh Lovely Orchestra!


Of course this is a very serious time and my last formal communication was to end all face-to-face meetings until this health crisis is over. As you know, and can each attest to, we love our music and I am very strongly of the #YesICan attitude. This does NOT mean ignoring rules or being reckless, but instead it means thinking wider.

I was touched by some of the informal chat messages suggesting how you would like to learn something at a distance. Your messages came just after a dear friend of mine posted this gorgeous piece:


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A beautiful song by Queen Liliuokalani “Ku’u Pua I Paokalani”

A post shared by Duane Padilla (@duanepictures) on

I wrote to him and asked if we could play it. He not only sent me the parts and score, but has made instructional videos about the traditional percussion (for Dorothy our percussionist!)

Also it is SO FITTING that we play this as he said:

Interesting history of the song. The song was written when the queen was imprisoned under house arrest for 8 months after the fall of the monarchy at the turn of the century. They tried to isolate her but she was allowed to receive flowers from her garden picked by an 11 year old boy, who secretly wrapped them in newspapers so she could at least hear about what was going on in Hawaii. The lyrics talk about the beautiful flowers

Regarding percussion, I think something inspired by the percussion used in traditional chanting and dance would be appropriate and sound good. There are a few basic Rhythm patterns that are traditionally played on “ipu” which are gourds played like drums that are easy, I’ll make a video and send. Would be nice in the middle from mm 18-40. The middle section has a bit of the hula dance feel. The beginning and end are in the style of part singing.

Our plan is to learn it, record it, and I will present it at the #OER20 conference on April 1-2- where we were already invited to present, but with the turn of events, the conference has moved online and this is just so cool- we will ALL have a voice.

So instructions…

  1. Listen to Duane’s playing
  2. Download your part (I have to type them out for the instruments first – so give me a day please!)
  3. Learn your part with Duane’s recording, for timing
  4. Record yourself (we will all need to be exactly together – I’ll send instructions!)
  5. Send it to me!
  6. Send me a PHOTO of you playing your instrument (or just of the instrument if you would not like to be ‘seen’)

Everyone has the option of recording either audio (can use the voice recorder on your phone) or video (can use video on phone) My current plan is to tile people’s contributions together (mixing the sound nicely!) and either compile the video, or make a collage of your pictures and conduct the audio with you all in front of me 🙂

It will be grand!

Parts to follow!


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