Ninety-nine students from HBA and other Oahu schools participated in the first annual HBA Summer Winds Festival from July 8 to July 12. Student musicians spent over 30 hours in full-band practices and instrument-specific sectionals during this week-long band clinic, which culminated in a concert on Saturday, July 13.
HBA band director, Brad Shimizu, said he “wanted to give HBA students an opportunity to keep up their playing over the summer and establish a culture of mentorship, with older students working with younger students.”
When private instructors and students from other schools showed an interest in the clinic, Shimizu decided to use Summer Winds to build relationships with other music students and programs on the island. In all, students from 14 different public and private middle and high schools joined HBA students in the five-day event, with 16 clinicians running the sectionals.
“I enjoyed meeting and working with fellow music students and learning from the clinicians and Mr. Shimizu. If I had the chance to, I’d participate in this wonderful event again next year,” stated Nicole Fontanilla, 2019 graduate from Waipahu High School and former Hawaii Youth Symphony trombonist.
University of Hawaii Lab School junior and clarinetist, Shlok Maharjan, said, “Being a part of the HBA Summer Winds Festival improved my skills and musicality as a musician. It was exciting and challenging to be playing difficult music, such as Festive Overture and Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna. Mr Shimizu as well as the clinicians made rehearsals and sectionals fun.”
HBA senior Vincent Ogasawara called the Summer Winds program “excellent” and felt it forged new bonds among the musicians. “The younger, less experienced players benefited from playing with the older students,” Ogasawara said.
One of those younger students was eighth grader and trumpet player Noah Curammeng. He noted, “Summer Winds was very challenging yet it was fun, and I learned a lot during the week.”
The sixteen clinicians who held twice-daily sectionals are private instructors, band directors, and professional musicians. For clinician and professional tuba player Alan Ing, the musical experience was “fantastic” but even more memorable was working with what he described as “the most respectful students [he has] ever had the opportunity to teach in thirty years.” In added, “It is a tribute to their teachers, parents and the schools they represent.”
Over 400 people attended the Summer Winds Festival concert held in HBA’s gym on Saturday, July 13. “Their final performance reflected that they played for each other and for the people in the audience, not for themselves,” noted clinician Ing. “This is what music should be all about.”