Kamehameha Alumni Glee Club

Through the Years ...

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From the evidence of the cover this looks like any other glee club souvenir disc, but anyone familiar with the ways traditional music infiltrates Hawaiian music in mainland forms will know not to judge the CD by looking at the cover. The Kamehameha Alumni Glee Club, founded in 1953 and consisting of singers who attended one of Hawaii's most durable boys' schools, is extremely distinctive in several respects. The basic sound is not that of the Eastern glee club, rooted in the purity of barbershop quartet singing and its African-American antecedents. It's powerful, with an emphasis on full-throated tenor singing and a rich interaction among the textures of the four voice parts. The music, slightly more than half in Hawaiian rather than English, ranges from Hollywood tunes about Hawaii to arrangements of traditional chants, from other Pacific cultures as well as the Hawaiian; several pieces ("Aloha Oe" and the "Kamehameha March") are standards. And the instrumentation runs from tuned bamboo pipes to a full Vegas-style orchestra. The music all hangs together as a single entity, not divided into "Hawaiian" and "pop" categories. The booklet, rich in detail, makes the album a must for any Hawaiian music researcher. It dwells at some length on problems of sound engineering that arose during the recording of the albums from which this compilation was drawn, made in the 1970s; it will be no surprise, then, that care has been taken with the digital transfers. Highly recommended to anyone becoming aware that there is Hawaiian music beyond "Tiny Bubbles" (not that there's anything wrong with that), to choral music fans, and to anyone heartened by successful cultural fusions.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
2:29 SpotifyAmazon
2 1:54 SpotifyAmazon
3 3:22
6 2:11
7 2:43
1:42 SpotifyAmazon
9 2:48 SpotifyAmazon
10 4:39
11 2:09 SpotifyAmazon
12 2:34 SpotifyAmazon
2:49 SpotifyAmazon
1:43 SpotifyAmazon
16 4:31 SpotifyAmazon
17 4:06
4:27 SpotifyAmazon
20 4:35
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