Aloha Hawaii – 2010 Residency with Hawaii Public Radio
In January, From the Top partnered with Hawaii Public Radio to bring our radio show and education programs to the island of Hawaii. It was the first time a program like ours has been recorded on the Big Island for national broadcast, and we were greeted with open arms and that famous Aloha spirit.
During a whirlwind week, we taped broadcasts in Waimea and Kea’au, and visited five schools and one youth center in four different communities, sharing the performances and experiences of From the Top musicians with nearly 2000 community members of all ages. On the broadcasts, we highlighted four performers and one jazz band from Hawaii and brought eight others from the mainland.
In the lush plantation village of Honoka’a, we were greeted with a special hula welcome by staff and students and met an inspiring music teacher Gary Washburn, whose jazz band was featured on the Waimea broadcast.
In the rainy mountain town of Waimea, a group of middle school students challenged 16-year-old guitarist Daniel Tekunoff to try the ukulele for the first time during a school performance. He gladly accepted and plucked out, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
At the Kamehameha School in Kea’au, 100 middle and high school students attended our sound check and dress rehearsal and beautifully thanked the performers and crew with a traditional mele (chant). Elementary school students were also treated to a special introduction to some of the instruments in the woodwind family by Chicago-based chamber group Trifecta.
In all, it was a wonderful week and we are so grateful to our hosts Hawaii Public Radio and the people of Hawaii Island.