Choral ‘Joy Of Music’ Nov. 24

Windward Choral Society (WCS) intends to keep up a four-year tradition of bringing free concerts to the public, so it’s sponsoring a gala benefit Nov. 24, full of music and food, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Koolau Ballrooms.

“Joy of Music … Around the World” will honor John and Betsy McCreary and include sake tasting, international food stations, a marimba band, taiko drummers, a silent auction, a singalong with a local Dixieland jazz band and a musical program by the 110 members of the WCS community chorus.

WCS founder Susan McCreary Duprey is artistic director of the chorus and daughter of John McCreary. Guest emcee for the evening is UH assistant music professor Miguel Angel Felipe.

McCreary was organist and choir master at St. Andrew’s Cathedral for 30 years and Iolani School choir director for 20 years. He continues to compose, and he serves as staff organist at Hawaii Theatre.

His music was performed for Archbishop Desmond Tutu in August, and colleagues speculate that he’s touched nearly every chorus in the Islands as composer, arranger or conductor. His wife Betsy is an accomplished singer and actor in her own right.

Tickets cost $100, and seating is limited. Call 261-6029 for reservations by Saturday.

“It’s not a stuffy choir – we laugh a lot, and it’s all about what’s coming from the heart,” said Lanikai member Ann Auman. “And we just keep growing.”

Auman noted that WCS does pay for its music scores, and “a little bit” for Duprey and accompanist Grant Mack. They rehearse Tuesday nights at Kailua United Methodist Church and recently won a grant to bring their music to schoolchildren, particularly the middle grades. That outreach program will begin next spring.

For more information on WCS, call 254-5717 or email Duprey at