Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Chamber Orchestra Plays Bach in Christmas Concerts

December 16, 2014, 9:11 AM HST
* Updated December 16, 9:16 AM
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Maui Chamber Orchestra. Courtesy photo.

Maui Chamber Orchestra. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Robert E. Wills will celebrate Christmas with two concerts on Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. in the historic ʻĪao Theater in Wailuku.

Maestro Wills will present Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, a holiday favorite.

“The Brandenburg Concertos are regarded as the best orchestral compositions of the baroque era. Number four features flutes and recorder and is the only one of the 6 concerti where all of the instruments in the orchestra play in every movement,” said Maestro Wills in a concert announcement.

Maui Chamber Orchestra. Courtesy photo.

Maui Chamber Orchestra. Courtesy photo.

The Bach theme will continue after intermission when the Maui Chamber Orchestra will be joined by the Maui Masterworks Chorale.


The group will perform selections from Bach’s great Christmas Oratorio.


Maestro Wills, who is also the soloist for several of the selections, will be joined by alto Emily Haswell from Oʻahu.

“Unlike today, where Christmas decorations appear before Halloween, in Bach’s time, Christmas was celebrated over a three day period. We are doing the first cantata in its entirety, 90% of the second cantata, and the last movement from the last cantata, which will feature some spectacular trumpet playing by Julliard trained Big Island trumpeter Andrea Lindborg. Each cantata was written for a different feast day during the holiday season from Christmas day to Epiphany,” said Maestro Wills.

In addition to the Bach works, the concert will begin with Concerto Grosso in G minor Op. 8 No. 3 by Arcangelo Corelli, better known as the Christmas Concerto, because it bears the inscription Fatto per la notte di Natale (“Made for the night of Christmas”), event organizers said.


Also on the program is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves. which first appeared in his opera “Sir John in Love.”

In addition to the concerts, Maestro Wills will host Conversations with the Conductor at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 21, during which he will discuss the works and answer questions from the audience.

Tickets are available at or at the ʻĪao Theater Box Office (between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday).  If there are any tickets left over, they will go on sale two hours prior to the performance.

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