By MEGAN MOSELEY
Tribune-Herald staff writer
For 19-year-old Julia Cellini, the upcoming Volcano Festival Chorus’s 20th annual Holiday Concert is a family affair.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s an event where your family members get involved. My grandmother is up there now,” she said, pointing toward the stage during a pre-concert practice Tuesday.
The group of local community members and music enthusiasts were preparing for the show that kicks off this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Kilauea Theater.
VFC formed in 1994 and the Volcano Art Center originally sponsored the chorus before Kilauea Drama &Entertainment Network assumed sponsorship in 2004.
Cellini is performing with KDEN for the sixth time and said the VFC’s Christmas concert is an event she looks forward to every year.
“Everyone is really welcoming. It’s wonderful because the whole community shows up and it’s stress free. Everyone comes, and it’s a great thing to do for the holidays,” she said before taking the stage with her fellow performers.
And at 4,000 feet, it can get chilly. Members of the choir were wearing scarves, sweatshirts and warm apparel while the stage lit up with Christmas lights and eye-catching holiday decorations.
Suzi Bond, executive director of KDEN, said she’s looking forward to the performance that she describes as a “gift to the community for all their support.”
Admission will be free, however, any donations will go toward the expenses of the concert and back to KDEN, a nonprofit community theater organization whose goal, according to their web site, is “to foster quality community theater” and “enrich and unite (the) community through involvement in the performing arts.”
This year Roch Jones is directing the concert. This is his second year as VFC director.
Bond said KDEN and the VFC are invaluable parts of the community, providing the residents and their children with unique opportunities within the arts.
“We are one of the only outlets for the many talented people of the area, young and old, ” she said.
Over the years, Bond said she’s seen many members evolve as performers through their experiences with KDEN.
“Our kids, they may start in this little tiny community of Volcano, but they go out and become pretty awesome human beings in their own right,” she said. “Without this kind of support, what would they be doing?”
KDEN has four major programs: Community Theater Program; Children’s Theater Program; Musical Program; and the Living History Program.
In February, KDEN will present “Once Upon A Mattress,” a musical comedy based on “The Princess and the Pea.” In the summer of 2014, KDEN will continue its Gilbert and Sullivan series with “Ruddigore.”
Email Megan Moseley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Kilauea Drama &Entertainment Network Presents The Volcano Festival Chorus Under the direction of Roch Jones, accompanied by Walter Greenwood with Armando Mendoza, Trumpet and Loren Brownlea,Violin in their 20th Holiday Concert.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at KMC’s Kilauea Theater
The Chorus: Arlene Araki, Stephanie Becher, Suzi Bond, Clara Cellini, Julia Cellini, Janis Hamersma, Bonnie Masterjohn, Tamara Morrison, Candy Nakagawa Percy, Helie Rock, Peggy Russo, Susanne St. John, Jade Tredinnick, Bill Chikasuye, Peggy Heisman, Don Lawrence, Tom McAlexander, Ian McMillan, Ron Reilly, Barbara Theisen, Hal Tredinnick