Hawaii International Music Festival Announces Second Season

The Hawaii International Music Festival (HIMF) announces its second annual season, “Thrill of the Senses,” with daily performances between August 10 – 17, 2017. Founded by Internationally Acclaimed Artists: Metropolitan Opera Soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, Violin Virtuoso Eric Silberger, and Esteemed Pianist Carlin Ma, the festival will include classical music concerts, appearances, and outreach events on Oahu and Hawaii Island.

Violinist Eric Silberger performing near the Keanakākoʻi Crater and Volcano House.

Operations Manager Taylor Yasui of Honolulu, states, “We are excited to showcase the music and stories of acclaimed international and local artists, which adds to the unique and diverse musical landscape we have here in Hawaii. Each year HIMF strives to build upon our mission of presenting unique interdisciplinary classical music events and educational outreach programs for the community of Hawaii.”

Pahala House Plantation

The festival arrives on the Big Island on Wednesday, August 16, for a 7:00 PM performance at the Pahala Plantation House. The concert will raise awareness of the Pahala Historic Properties Alliance and their efforts to build a museum to curate and honor the history of Pahala. This concert will feature Metropolitan Opera Soprano and daughter-in-law of Lorie Obra (of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee) Amy Shoremount-Obra, Virtuoso Violinist Eric Silberger, Esteemed Pianist Carlin Ma, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Cellist Sung Chan Chang, Mexican Tenor Manuel Castillo, Young Artist Mexican Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Aldaz Meraz, and World Renowned Argentinean Bandoneon Player JP Jofre.  Tickets and donation information is available both at the door and online at http://himfpahala.bpt.me

Violinist Eric Silberger performing in the Thurston Lava Tube

The festival concludes with a performance in Hilo on Thursday, August 17, with a free prelude picnic preview at Lili`Uokalani Gardens from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, followed by the main festival event, “Tastes, Sights, and Sounds of the Big Island” taking place at 6:30 PM at First United Protestant Church Hilo, 1350 Waianuenue Ave. Original photography by Artistic Director Carlin Ma and special guest, Big Island Photography Expert, Ken Goodrich, will be paired with music featuring World Renowned Argentinean Bandoneon Player JP JOFRE, Esteemed Pianist Carlin Ma, Virtuoso Violinist Eric Silberger (Pictured), Metropolitan Opera Soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, Mexican Tenor Manuel Castillo,  Hawaii Symphony Cellist Sung Chan Chang and Young Artist Mexican Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Aldaz Meraz.  The concert will also feature a tasting of artisanal specialty coffee from Rusty’s Hawaiian and chocolate courtesy of Hawaiian Crown Chocolate Plantation. The event will raise awareness and accept donations for Lili’Uokalani Gardens, for their continued maintenance, improvements, and events as a key cultural center in Hilo.  Tickets for the evening concert and artisanal tastings are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. http://himfhilo.bpt.me

Hawaii Coffee Association Hosts Annual Conference and 9th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) the 22nd Annual Conference and ninth Annual Statewide Cupping Competition Thursday through Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation. This year, the HCA combined its annual conference with the Maui Coffee Association’s popular Seed to Cup Festival.The cupping competition featured 107 entries in two divisions— Creative and Commercial —hailing from origins located throughout the island chain including Hawaii Island’s Kona, Ka‘u, Hamakua, Hilo and Puna districts; plus Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu.

“When you got to the last cup, we just said, ‘Wow,’ this is exiting!” exclaimed cupper Warren Muller of Walker Coffee Trading of Houston, Texas. “The level of experimentation is such that we’re now seeing coffees that you wouldn’t expect from the Hawaiian Islands,” shared fellow cupper Shawn Hamilton of Java City of Sacramento. Now in its ninth year of the competition, the cuppers agreed, “The quality just keeps getting better and better. It’s very good for Hawaii.”

Workshops covered topics including coffee brewing, cupping, roasting and roaster maintenance, composting, processing for ‘’quality, differentiation and competition;” branding and packaging, specialized fermentation, plus farm management and sensor technology utilizing drones. A fantastic historic timeline of the Hawaiian coffee industry over the past 30-plus years was presented by retiring University of Hawaii’s CTAHR coffee research icon, Skip Bittenbender. Activities included a tour of O’o Farms in Kula.

A healthy schedule of presenters included a diverse assemblage of state and federal researchers and innovators from private industry. Presenters from USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, as well as Synergistic Hawaii Agricultural Council, offered updates and answered questions. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, “mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

Competing in the Creative cupping division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Olinda Organic Farm with its wet-ferment Red Catuai varietal earning a score of 87.4. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a wet ferment typica variety produced by Miranda’s Farm of Ka‘u; it tallied a score of 84.1.

District honors were awarded to Hamakua’s Papaaloa Joe, Hawaii’s Second Alarm Farm, Kauai Coffee Company, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC, and Oahu’s Hawaii Agricultural Research Center.

HCA’s Cupping Committee Chair David Gridley of Maui commented, “Ninety-four coffees (88%) scored 80 and above. It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawaii for their remarkable efforts.”

Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

The association membership gathered to elect a new board and officers. Officers include President Chris Manfredi of Ka‘u; Vice-President Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms, Treasurer Adrian Guillen of Hawaiian Queen Coffee and Secretary Donna Wooley of the Kona Coffee Council.

The new board of directors features broad representation spanning a variety of business disciplines including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Heavenly Hawaiian Farms, Hawaii Coffee Company, Royal Kona Visitors Center, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Daylight Mind Coffee Co., Maui Coffee Association and UCC-Hawaii.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.

Learn more about the HCA at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

Learn more about the Hawaii coffee industry at hawaiicoffeeindustry.com

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Saturday, July 22 at 7:45 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 70 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 11 degrees above the South Northeast part of the sky.

You can view a livestream from the space station here: https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive