What a night! I never expected to have so much fun and laughter at a CHAMBER ORCHESTRA concert. Of course, I love the serenity and precision of chamber music. That’s why I go to such concerts.

But fun and laughter? No. I don’t find Telemann, Bach or Haydn funny at all.


The first two pieces were indeed serious music – Telemann and Bach. But then, after the intermission, it became a real free for all.

Enter Papa Mozart – Leopold – father of his famous son Wolfgang.  From his grave he raised the roof last bight at the historic Iao Theater in Wailuku, Maui. His “Toy Symphony” was a non-stop uproarious hoot for all of its 10 minutes.

It was better than “Saturday Night Live.” And yet it was a Saturday night live.

It reminded me of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” (1594),  but set to 18th century music. The conductor and founder of the Maui Chamber Orchestra, Robert E. Wills, sent out 7 or 8 of his orchestra members to bring in some people from the audience, chosen at random, to play certain toy instruments (which they got to keep afterward.)  😉

What followed was a riot. The conductor demonstrated a wonderful sense of humor, cracking jokes at the speed of Jay Leno or better. Because it was unscripted. His every line brought down the house with laughter from the audience.

Here’s a video from another performance of the Toy Symphony in Germany. It was not nearly as much fun as last night’s concert, but it will give you and idea what the music is about.

 * * *

During the intermission, they also had a little kids orchestra playing Christmas songs on their ukuleles outside the theater next to the box office. They attracted a big crowd. Except for those who had to go to the bathroom, nobody bothered with any other intermission activities.  Here’s a short video clip.

LAHAINA KIDS PLAYING AT IAO THEATER IN WAILUKU – a group of young musicians from Lahaina, Maui, entertained the crowd during the intermission of the Maui Chamber Orchestra concert on Saturday, Dec 17, 2016

 * * *


December 17 Saturday 7:30 p.m.
December 18 Sunday 3:00 p.m.

Historic ‘Iao Theater
“Conversations with the Conductor” Sunday 1:30 p.m.
  • Telemann: Concerto in B-flat Major for 2 oboes, 2 flutes and strings
  • J.S. Bach: Magnificat in D Major with Maui Masterworks Chorale BWV 243
  • attrib. L. Mozart: Toy Symphony
  • Rutter: Brother Heinrich’s Christmas
  • Carols with orchestra and Masterworks Chorale



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