WAIMEA, Island of Hawaii—Hawaii Preparatory Academy is proud to present the award-winning Honokaa High School Jazz Band in concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, at HPA’s Gates Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and can be purchased from all band members, at the HPA Bookstore, Waimea Music Exchange, and Café Il Mondo in Honokaa.
The concert will feature many classic favorites, including Burlesque, I’d Rather Go Blind, I’ve Got to Use My Imagination, Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean, Li’l Darlin, Razzamataz, Smooth Operator, and Tell It Like It Is. Camelia Witt, Kayla Maikui, and Emma Reddekop are among the featured student vocalists, while instrumental soloists include Elizabeth Sekona (violin), Cortney Oshiro (alto sax), CJ Carvalho (tenor sax), and Emma Reddekop (piano).
Since 1978, when Gary Washburn joined the Honokaa High School faculty as band director, the school’s jazz band has grown to be one of the state’s top high school bands. The group has won numerous awards and recognition locally and nationally, including the Alliance for the Arts Award (2007), National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Award for “Best Community for Music Education” (2010), and the prestigious Grammy Signature School award (2011), which was awarded to just 36 schools nationwide.
The band has been recognized by the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives and in 2012, Governor Neil Abercrombie proclaimed April 20 as “Honokaa Jazz Band Day” in the state of Hawaii.
This talented group of young people has performed throughout the state and has opened for the National Veterans Affairs Council Convention, the National Upward Bound Conference, the Air Force band, “Hana Hou,” and the Royal Hawaiian Band, among others. The group also has performed with Ollie Mitchell, Slyde Hyde, David Shapiro, and David Benoit, and has appeared numerous times on local television. In 2010, the band attracted national attention with its performance on National Public Radio’s “From the Top.”
Numerous band alumni—most notably award-winning songwriter and producer Ryan Hiraoka, Maelan Abran, Amy Mills—have gone on to pursue successful careers in music, winning four individual Na Hoku Awards and studying opera in New York City.
Washburn also has been recognized for his outstanding and inspirational work with students. In 2011, Washburn was named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Student members of NSHSS nominate a single educator who has made the most significant contribution to their academic career. Educators nominated as Educators of Distinction must be “an outstanding role model and positive influence, someone who has made a lasting difference in the student’s life by encouraging him/her to strive for excellence.”
For more information about the upcoming concert, call 881-4005 or 881-4099.