First, a message from our Honolulu Wind Ensemble President, Mr Benjamin Gascon:
Aloha and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!
I hope the holiday season treated everyone nicely this past year- and what a year it was! It was a year of great change and extreme outcomes. It was to be a year of great foresight that allowed the world to work toward a better future for all humanity. Maybe it was just that- from certain a perspective.
As we continue in the current state of things on into this new year, let us take a brief moment to reflect on last year to help us usher in hope for the year that unfolds before us.
Last year the world came to familiarize itself with the 3 W's- Watch your distance, Wash your hands, Wear your masks. The habits of many countries were changed by the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19. In some cases, these became global habits and may have brought humanity a little closer together in terms of being on the same page.
The United States started adopting mask wearing, a behavior many of us only observed in Asian countries before. We must hope that the US Mainland can get things together so that our local economy can start to recover sooner than later. Some of us may have received the latest stimulus disbursement. I am thankful for this as it comes at a time much needed. Also, 2 different vaccines are being used to begin inoculations. All the more to be hopeful of a better future.
Here locally, our COVID case count and positivity rate seems to have risen a bit, but still seems manageable. We really need all the numbers to go down if we are to make music again. Getting vaccinated might be a way to get us there faster, but please do the research first and seek medical advice.
Last year was probably the only calendar year in our existence that we had 0 performances performed, even though we had a few weeks of rehearsals before any of the forced shut downs and voluntary exclusions. Of course, I am expecting Dave to correct me if I am wrong.
I want to thank everyone for keeping it together this past year- it was definitely different. I appreciate the weekly emails of performance recordings from Dave Tholen as they have definitely helped with keeping my "band fix" in check. Also, Gina Sunada for manning the social media postings and keeping things humorous and festive for times most needed.
As soon as government leaders say we can start getting together, we will definitely send out word. It will be a great deal of work to get restarted, but it won't be impossible. Looking forward to that day- as always-
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Who We Are
The Honolulu Wind Ensemble (formerly known as the Honolulu Community Concert Band) is a state & federally recognized tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, comprised of volunteer members who enjoy playing instrumental music and performing for the community. All walks of life are represented within HWE, including teachers, lawyers, engineers, scientists, military personnel, doctors, students, and retirees. New members are welcome to join us.
What We Do
Since 1973, HWE has performed a wide variety of entertaining and challenging band literature, from marches & light pop to classical works and symphonic transcriptions. HWE has performed at historic Hawaii Theatre, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Kawaiahao Church, the State Capitol, and Honolulu Hale (City Hall). Regular performances are scheduled throughout the year at Ala Moana Centerstage, M.M. Scott Auditorium, and at various schools, shopping centers, and festivals on the island of Oahu.
HWE has entertained thousands of people in Hawaii and throughout the world via its live performances, television broadcasts, internet website and webcasts. HWE has performed at the request of the Mayor of Honolulu, the Governor of Hawaii, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the Hawaii Music Awards, and was featured at the Aloha Tower Marketplace’s annual 4th-of-July Fireworks Spectacular.
Guest performers at previous HWE concerts include former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, local entertainer Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, the late Loyal Garner, Honolulu Symphony principal trombonist James Decker, Australian Ballet & Opera Orchestra principal trumpet Brian Evans, and South Jutland (Denmark) Symphony principal trombonist Don Immel. The 2004 Fall Concert helped to raise over $80,000 to reunite Iraq-bound soldiers of the Hawaii National Guard’s 29th Brigade with their families at Christmas. In 2006, the band traveled to New Zealand and Australia, performing at the world-famous Sydney Opera House. In 2008, HWE collaborated in several performances with ensembles from Azusa Pacific University, Hawaii Pacific University, and the Honolulu Symphony Chorus.
Our special relationship with the Omiya Wind Symphony
In 2011, the Omiya Wind Symphony was scheduled to perform a concert with HWE on March 12th. However, when the musicians from Saitama, Japan, were on their way to Narita Airport on March 11th, the devastating earthquake and tsunami dashed their hopes of leaving for Hawaii. The joint concert never happened, but HWE performed a benefit concert that raised more than $5,000 for the Japanese tsunami relief effort. On January 28, 2012, HWE performed in a joint concert with the Omiya Wind Symphony and their internationally distinguished conductor, Toshio Akiyama.
In June 2014, HWE traveled to Japan and performed again with the Omiya Wind Symphony at a joint concert at Saitama Hall on June 14, 2014. In a special presentation and signing at the concert, the Omiya Wind Symphony and the Honolulu Wind Ensemble were officially recognized as sister bands.
Support the HWE & Community Music in Hawaii
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the HWE relies heavily on the kindness of the public to sustain its operations. All donations are tax-deductible, and go directly to offset equipment, facility and office expenses, as well as new music purchases to expand our repertoire.
Checks should be made out to “Honolulu Wind Ensemble.”
Donations may be mailed to:
Honolulu Wind Ensemble
P.O. Box 4236
Honolulu, HI 96812
Mahalo for your support!