"Drifting on a Living Room Concert, Surrounded by Her Voice"
by Mary L. Radnofsky, Ph.D.
Laurie Rubin is a remarkable young woman who sang a solo program of Broadway and opera hits for Hadassah last night at a Living Room Concert in Kailua. She bears a striking resemblance to Barbra Streisand in physical profile, tonal quality, music choice, stage presence, vocal perfection, and ability to electrify an audience. She is also blind.
Laurie's ability to tell a story and relate to people help make her a charismatic opera singer as well as a successful businesswoman. She has a voice that wraps you inside her music like the Pacific holds a diver inside her waters and you are suspended in place while things change around you: Notes flutter in waves every few seconds just as currents swirl waters about, then carry you to a new place so you can feel it all over again. But the music, like your air supply, cannot last forever, so you appreciate every second all the more.
Accompanying Laurie on piano was Jennifer Taira, actually an award-winning clarinetist, and the other half of "Ohana Arts," a new non-profit organization the women are starting here in Hawaii. Jenny's musicality transfers well from her clarinet work to her piano accompaniment. Her playing complements Laurie's singing and entertains the audience without distracting from the voice a subtle talent that typically goes unnoticed, though not unappreciated.
Laurie and Jenny perform these living room concerts, but also give a musical theatre workshop for kids. This season, they'll produce Mulan, Jr. Ohana Arts will also hold a fundraiser luau and show on July 18th where Laurie will sing and the kids will perform a sample of the musical to premiere July 23rd. These programs help fill a void caused by the Honolulu symphony's bankruptcy plan that cancelled the rest of the 2010 concert season. Personally, I feel that without such music in my life, there's something important missing; I will therefore enthusiastically attend both the luau and play.
So if you've ever felt something's missing in your life, just follow Laurie Rubin's voice, and you'll surely find it, too.
For more information on Ohana Arts, go to http://www.ohanaarts.org/