Band Debuts Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole Medley
On Saturday, March 16, the Royal Hawaiian Band premiered a brand new work commissioned by the Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band from conductor/composer/arranger Matt Catingub at the annual Friends of Royal Hawaiian Band luau at Queen Emma's Summer Palace. It is the third commissioned work for the band by Matt but the first in which the band members were asked what kind of composition they wanted. The result of a vote, and overwhelming favorite of the band membership, was a medley of songs by Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole. Featuring six of his most popular tunes, Matt weaved together a medley that is exciting, contemplative, and touching. The highlight of the performance was when it was revealed that in attendance at the gathering was Israel's widow, Marlene Kamakawiwo‘ole. With hardly a dry eye in the audience afterward, President of the Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band, Antoinette "Toni" Lee, commented how proud she was of the band and that she thinks Israel would be proud too. The band looks forward to debuting the work to the general public soon.