East Hawaii News

Hilo Community Chorus Seeks New Artistic Director

By Nathan Christophel
February 17, 2022, 3:00 PM HST
* Updated February 17, 2:55 PM
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The Hilo Community Chorus wants to get back together to sing again.

“Like many other volunteer organizations, the chorus has been on hiatus since the start of COVID,” Joanna Savage, a volunteer with the chorus, told Big Island Now. “As the time approaches where it is safer for all of us to meet, the organization has begun navigating that transition.”

Tom McAlexander conducts a past performance of the Hilo Community Chorus. McAlexander, the longtime artistic director for the choir, recently announced his retirement. (Photos courtesy of Hilo Community Chorus)

That transition now includes the search for a new director.

Tom McAlexander, artistic director for the community-sponsored, non-auditioned choir, recently announced his retirement. He has directed the chorus since its inception in 2008.

“McAlexander’s deep love for the chorus has always been evidenced by the fact that his service was provided pro bono throughout the 13 years of his tenure,” said a press release from the chorus. “With his retirement, the HCC board has been tasked both with finding a new director and facing a new financial paradigm.”

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Savage said the process of finding a new director is underway. This is the first time in the chorus’ history it has faced a search for a permanent artistic director, and it hopes to find one in time for a 2022-23 season.

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A new description of the artistic director position was developed, which encompasses such responsibilities as planning a concert schedule and program, preparing the chorus for its performances and conducting the semi-annual concerts, according to the release.

And finding a new director is the first step in getting the chorus back on stage.

“Once that person is on board, we can start the process of getting folks together to sing again,” Savage said.

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Applications for the artistic director position are now being accepted.

A full job description, qualifications and instructions for how to apply can be found on the Hilo Community Chorus website.

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel has more than 20 years of experience in journalism, starting out as a reporter and working his way up to become a copy editor and page designer, most recently at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo.
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