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Hawaii Youth Symphony

OF NOTE November 2015

Renown Trombone Soloist Toby Oft Joins Hawaii Youth Symphony for Winter Concert Mahalo to Hawaii Independent Energy, the Presenting Sponsor of HYS’s Winter Concert Series! Sunday, Dec. 6 4 pm


ll three full orchestras of the Hawaii Youth Symphony will have opportunities to showcase their talent through a wide range of musical compositions at the Winter Concert at the Blaisdell Concert Hall on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, beginning at 4 p.m. The conductors for the Winter Concert will be Maestro Henry Miyamura, Derrick Yamane, Elton Masaki, Susan Ochi-Onishi, and Hannah Watanabe. “The music will be virtuosic, challenging, and varied, with many different moods and textures,” said Randy Wong, Executive Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony. “Fans of film composer John Williams will

Saturday, Dec. 12 2 pm

Blaisdell Concert Hall Winter Concert, featuring Concert Orchestra and Youth Symphony I & II $18 ($8 for students and seniors) Radio broadcast of concert on Hawaii Public Radio Watch for details on date and time!

Kaimuki High School Winter Academy Concert, featuring Clubhouse Band, Beginning String Ensemble, Intermediate String Ensemble, String Orchestra Ensemble, and Concert String Orchestra

be excited to hear music from Harry Potter, performed by Youth Symphony I, and Star Wars, performed by Concert Orchestra.”

when his high school band director Chuck Bolton was a clinician.

This year, HYS takes the Winter Concert to an exciting new level with performances by Toby Oft, Principal Trombone with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2008. In addition to occupying the top position in one of the finest orchestras in the world, his masterful solo recitals have taken him throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. “Toby Oft has been heralded as one of the finest trombone players of his generation, and we look forward to his performances with both YSI & YSII,” Henry Miyamura said. Oft, an Oregon native, attended HYS’s Pacific Music Institute in 1993

In addition to his performances, Oft is known for his extraordinary abilty to teach trombone. He has built thriving studios at New England Conservatory and Boston University, which include distinctive curriculum for master classes in orchestral techniques.

Master Class with Toby Oft Toby Oft brings his teaching expertise to Hawaii! Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 1 pm - 3 pm University of Hawaii Music Department Band Room (Room 108) No Cost; pre-registration is not required.

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A Message from HYS’s Leaders from ages 7 to 18, from more than 100 schools statewide each year, but we feel compelled to make music education more accessible for students. That is our mission as an organization.

Board of Directors President Richard K. Ing Vice Presidents Roy E. King, Jr. Malcolm Lau Tina Lau Les Murata Michael Onofrietti Secretary Patti Look Treasurer Jean Tsukamoto Directors Alan Arizumi Gladys Hirano Nathan Hokama Martin Hsia Dan Momohara Alan Okami Marjorie Tanoue Chris Yuen

HYS Staff Executive Director Randy Wong Administration & Finance Manager Meredith Prescott Programs Manager Ann Doike Programs Associate Janet Morita

Richard Ing


Randy Wong

every concert we attend reminds us that we have something great to offer the community. We have the best conductors, the best students from across the state, and the best support from donors. Yet, we know we can do more. We reach an average of 650 students,

Without compromising the quality of the programs we have today, the board of directors is confident we can serve more students. As you can see from the article below, we have already taken steps to move in this positive direction. As we begin our 51st year of service, this is an exciting time for Hawaii Youth Symphony, and we thank you all for your unwavering support and dedication!

Charting HYS’s Future


he Hawaii Youth Symphony conducted a half-day strategic planning session at Waialae Country Club in late July 2015 to identify priorities for the coming years.

The HYS staff and music conductors joined the board of directors to freely exchange ideas on how to best realize HYS vision of providing every young person in Hawaii the opportunity to experience the timeless value of music, learn to play a musical instrument, and embrace a lifelong appreciation for musical learning. See the detailed 2016-2020 strategic plan on the HYS website at Topics of discussion included succession planning, the possible expansion of HYS’s partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii to provide music education programs in West Oahu, and the formation of additional orchestras to accommodate more students since the current orchestras have consistently been full. The board voted to establish a committee to explore what may be needed to create the additional orchestras.

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Youth Symphony I and Kalapana Kick Off 51st Season With Dazzling, Magical Gift of Music at Na Mele Concert


n her book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, author J. K. Rowling creates a memorable line for her character Albus Dumbledore: “Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” He Makana O Na Mele, the first concert of HYS’s 51st season held on November 1, was truly a magical performance. The hard work of the 100 YSI high school students from 20 public, private and home schools throughout Oahu, was evident. Mahalo to our Maestro Circle sponsors Accuity/Jean and Kent Tsukamoto, Mrs. Edith Leong, and First Hawaiian Bank, and to our Soloist’s Circle sponsors Hawaiian Host, Mrs. Gladys Hirano, Richard and Susan Ing, Island Insurance Company, and United Laundry Services, Inc. These and our other table sponsors were instrumental to creating a great concert and fundraiser. HYS alumni Dean Taba, playing a six-string bass, and Noel Okimoto on vibraphone, entertained during the Silent Auction, and Ben Gutierrez, of Hawaii News Now, did a great job as emcee. Under the direction of Maestro Henry Miyamura, the concert began with Youth Symphony I’s exciting rendition of Il Guarany, a Brazillian opera ballo composed by Antônio Carlos Gomes, based on the novel O Guarani by José de Alencar. That led to O Mio Babbino Caro, a soprano aria, for the Italian opera

Clockwise from top: YSI and Kalapana with Randy Wong, Ben Gutierrez and Richard Ing; DJ Pratt and Malani Bilyeu of Kalapana; the YSI percussionists playing shoes; and HYS alums Noel Okimoto and Dean Taba during the Silent Auction. Photos by Natalie Nakasone. Gianni Schicchi, composed by Giacomo Puccini. The song featured violin solo performances by Concertmaster Joseph Fujinami, a senior at Mililani High School. YSI also transported the audience in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom to Hogwarts School, with songs from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, composed by Patrick Doyle and John Williams. Thanks to the excellent volunteer stage management and logistics team, led by Les Murata, Kalapana stepped seamlessly onto the stage to perform ever-popular songs such as When the Morning Comes, Nightbird, For You I’d Chase a

Rainbow, The Hurt, and Naturally. YSI adeptly accompanied Kalapana to songs introduced to Hawaii nearly 45 years ago -- way before any of the YSI students were born. Kalapana, which tours Japan on a regular basis, also included Black Sand, a rock instrumental. The concert ended on a lively note with songs from Lord of the Dance, with a special performance by the student percussionists using shoes for Thunder and Lightning. If this concert is an indication of the caliber of HYS musicians this year, another spectacular season is ahead of us!

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Like Father, Like Son: Music Runs in the Nishimoto Family ble and Marching Band. He has also been a member of the prestigious Oahu Band Directors Association’s (OBDA) High School Select Band.


hen Micah Nishimoto attended HYS’s 50th anniversary Spring Concert earlier this year, he was awestruck. It was the first time the Punahou School sophomore had heard Hawaii Youth Symphony. He instantly knew he wanted to join HYS. “I was blown away by their musicality and it inspired me to practice hard over the spring. I wanted to be on the stage performing with them,” recalls Micah, who has been playing the trumpet for the past four years. “I could feel the passion that the students had for the music, and the way Mr. Miyamura led the orchestra was unbelievable.” In addition to HYS, Micah is a member of Punahou’s Wind Ensem-

Micah’s ability to know a good orchestra when he sees one may well have come from his Dad, Mitchell Nishimoto, who played the trombone in the Hawaii Youth Symphony for two consecutive seasons in the early 1980s. Mitchell, a Punahou School graduate, fondly remembers those days. “We had a very special time in the Youth Symphony, met a lot of friends from many different schools across Hawaii, and worked very hard to produce a sound that we could all be proud of... We had opportunities to play with talented musicians such as Anna Lim, Eric Miyashiro, and Dean Taba,” Mitchell said. “The late Loyal Gardner was the guest artist at one of our concerts, and I remember her telling us after a rehearsal that we were one of the best orchestras she had ever performed with, amateur or professional. Of course, that made us feel pretty good about the work we did, and inspired us to work even harder.”

Mitchell says HYS instilled in him the importance of dedication and discipline. “We learned that working as a team to create a blend and harmonization was integral to the orchestra sounding the very best it could.” Those core values have stayed with Mitchell. He has enjoyed a successful career with First Hawaiian Bank, and today serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. He previously was Senior Vice President, overseeing First Hawaiian Bank’s Kapiolani Banking Region, and prior to that worked as the Maui Region Supervisor, overseeing the bank’s seven Maui branches and one on Lanai with a total of more than 100 employees. Mitchell’s dedication has also been passed on to Micah. “HYS rehearsals require 110% of your focus, and the other members of the orchestra are of very high caliber and are very motivated,” Micah said. “And with Mr. Miyamura leading us, it makes everyone strive to get better.”

New T-Shirt Design

HYS Students Audition to Perform with Midori More than two dozen students from CSO, CO, YSII & YSI will audition for one of three opportunities to perform a movement of J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Midori, when she performs with Youth Symphony I at the Spring Community Concert on April 8, 2016. “This is a very exciting opportunity for our students,” Henry Miyamura said. “Midori is a one-of-a-kind artist, and it’s rare for students to be able to perform alongside her.” Since the Double Violin concerto features two solo parts, audition winners will perform the First Part and Midori will perform the Second Part. The audition will be held on December 12.

Megan Uchida, a YSI violinist, has created a new T-shirt design for our new 51st season, available in black, tan and pink on a maroon shirt. Megan, daughter of Lance Uchida, a YSI Concert Parent, follows in the footsteps of her mom Melanie, who is a graphic designer.

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Boys & Girls Club and Hawaii Youth Symphony Making Music Together to Serve More Children


mazing things can happen when two nonprofit organizations combine forces to create positive change in the community. Hawaii Youth Symphony has been partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii to create music education programs that has resulted in a win-win for both organizations and huge benefit for the youth participating in the programs. It has been a match made in music heaven: The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii’s mission is to provide a safe, structured and positive environment for young people after school, during holidays and during summer vacation. Hawaii Youth Symphony’s mission is to create more opportunities for youth from all communities across our islands to reap the multiple benefits of music education. Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii is part of a nationwide network. There are Boys & Girls Clubs are located in every state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and U.S. military installations overseas. Altogether, they serve millions of children every day. “The Hawaii Youth Symphony programs have successfully filled a valuable need for young students,” said Tim Motts, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. “This has been a great partnership and it’s fascinating to watch these children grow more confident as they learn new musical skills.” Randy Wong, Executive Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony, has similar observations. “Our missions aligned with each other and we’re

now hoping that the Boys & Girls Club participants consider joining our other orchestras to continue to experience the powerful benefits of music education.” In collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club, the Hawaii Youth Symphony currently offers two low-cost music education programs as part of HYS Academy’s Music in the Clubhouse programming. The two programs held at the Charles C. Spalding Clubhouse, located at the Diamond Head side of Washington Middle School are Music4Kids and the Boys & Girls Club Band. The success of the programs have

prompted discussions between the two organizations about giving the same opportunities to children in West Oahu, where the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii has clubhouses or teen centers in Ewa Beach, Nanakuli and Waianae. “We’re excited about continuing this positive momentum and we have begun to look at the possibilities that we can achieve together,” Wong said. Visit the Hawaii Youth Symphony website for details about these programs and see the calendar on the back page of this newsletter for upcoming performances by the Boys & Girls Club Band.

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Hawaii Youth Symphony Association 1110 University Avenue, Suite 200 Honolulu, Hawaii 96826-1598 Phone: Website: Facebook: Twitter & IG:

808.941.9706 HawaiiYouthSymphony @HiYouthSymphony

Our Mission: The Hawaii Youth Symphony advances critical and positive links between music study, academic achievement, and social emotional development with programs that service youth through orchestral music education, performance opportunities, and community engagement.

Our Vision: HYS envisions a Hawaii

where every young person can experience the timeless value of music, learn to play a musical instrument, or otherwise embrace a lifelong appreciation for musical learning.

Mark Your Calendar for Our 51st Season Events!

Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 4 pm

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 5:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 2 pm

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 5 pm

Winter Concert Blaisdell Concert Hall Featuring Concert Orchestra, Youth Symphony II, and Youth Symphony I

Academy Winter Concert Kaimuki High School Featuring Clubhouse Band, Beginning String Ensemble, Intermediate String Ensemble, String Orchestra Ensemble, and Concert String Orchestra

Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 4 pm Kauai Community Concert Kauai Community College Featuring Youth Symphony I

Youth Symphony II Community Concert Kawaiahao Church A joint concert with the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus

Concert Orchestra Community Concert Ala Moana Center

Friday, April 8, 2016 7:30 pm

Youth Symphony I Spring Community Concert Featuring Midori, world-famous violin virtuoso

Sunday, April 17, 2016 4 pm

Youth Symphony II and Concert Orchestra Spring Concert Roosevelt High School Auditorium

Saturday, April 23, 2016 4 pm

Academy Spring Concert Kaimuki High School Auditorium Featuring Clubhouse Band, Beginning String Ensemble, Intermediate String Ensemble, String Orchestra Ensemble, and Concert String Orchestra

Sunday, May 1, 2016 11:30 am

Aloha Concert Luncheon Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom Featuring guest Marlene Sai with Youth Symphony I and Youth Symphony II

Profile for Hawaii Youth Symphony

HYS Of Note Newsletter (November 2015)  

HYS Of Note Newsletter (November 2015)