Kauai Island Singers Showcase was started in December 2012 by Melissa Mojo and Mary McDermott, so that Melissa could get more experience singing in front of an audience in order to overcome her nervousness. They quickly found a number of other up-and-coming singers who jumped at the chance to develop their repertoires, improve as performers and learn the language of music in order to better communicate with musicians.
The format was simple: 10 singer slots per concert, each singer sings two songs and the singers donate to pay for the musicians. and held the concerts for free at Women in Theater’s Wit’s End in the Coconut Marketplace. It gave the singers enormous freedom to choose songs they loved and take the risks needed to develop and grow their talent — because they loved to sing! Word got out that KISS was something special and our audiences grew.
When Wit’s End closed and Mary left to pursue other endeavors, KISS tried a number of venues in Lihue, including two concerts at the Mahiko Lounge at Kilohana, finally finding a home at All Saints Church in Kapaa where we’ve been since the end of 2014.
The wonderful thing about KISS is that there is a lot of supportive camaraderie. We are all so different, yet we all appreciate each other’s unique abilities and encourage each other to experiment and expand their skills and musical repertoire. Our strength lies in our diversity and love of singing.
After more than 25 concerts, KISS is still growing strong and has recently become a 501(c)3 non profit tax-exempt organization. We are looking forward to expanding and developing new ways to reach our community with our music.