MarForPac, local artists give back to community with Holiday Concert
By Lance Cpl. Erik Estrada
| U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific | December 02, 2013
Whether for the young or old, the musicians of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band and several local artists had plenty of gifts and excitement for everyone at the 6th Annual Na Mele o na Keiki (Music for the Children) Holiday Concert at the historic Hawaii Theatre Center here Dec. 1.
Marine Forces Pacific
Toys for Tots
It’s become a yearly gift of appreciation to the community from MarForPac and show sponsors BAE Systems and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai’i. Several locally-recognized artists participate as well. The “Wild Hawaiian” Henry Kapono, the Abrigo Ohana, Shawna Lynn Masuda and Chris Vandercook gifted music to the Oahu community; a ballerina from the Hawaii State Ballet danced the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and members of the Air Force Band of the Pacific joined the Marines in bringing in holiday cheer.
The concert was in support of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve Toys for Tots Hawai’i program, which collects donations to help make the holidays brighter for Hawai’i’s less-fortunate keiki (children). MarForPac’s Na Mele o na Keiki Holiday Concert is a unique event which has become a major event in the annual Toys for Tots Hawai’i collection effort. By the end of the concert, the Marines had collected more than 500 toys and nearly $1,300 for the program.
The artists, who put a lot of effort into the show and its rehearsals, were happy to contribute their talents for a generous cause, and also enjoyed playing with the Marines.
“The show’s a pretty great show, one of my favorite to participate in all year,” said Kapono, a local award-winning and Grammy-nominated artist who has participated the past four years.
“It’s my priviledge to be here in support of the Toys for Tots,” said Masuda, a local actress and singer, who was performing in the show for the first time.
“I want to thank the Marines for having us here. … We love helping Toys for Tots,” said Emily Abrigo of the Abrigo Ohana, a traditional Hawaiian music group which participated in this concert for the second year.