Proclamations and Press Releases

June 2014

Congratulatory messages.  Click on each image below.

Declaration of Sister-Band Affiliation with Omiya Wind Symphony (in English and Japanese) appears as attachments at the bottom of this page.

October 27, 2013 is Honolulu Wind Ensemble Day


 October 12, 2012




HONOLULU – The Honolulu Wind Ensemble (formerly the Honolulu Community Concert Band) presents a Fall concert of Broadway show tunes from classics to modern.  The free concert will be on Saturday, November 10 at 7 p.m. in the Kaimuki High School Auditorium (2705 Kaimuki Ave).

The program features music from more than 10 famous shows, spanning early Broadway hits from “Hello Dolly,” and “Mame,” all the way to modern favorites like “Riverdance,” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

Director Les Tanaka said he was inspired to choose a Broadway musical theme for the band after learning that the smash hit “Wicked” would be touring in Honolulu in the winter.  The Honolulu Wind Ensemble will also be playing selections from “Wicked.”

“Hawaii audiences respond very well to musicals,” Tanaka said.  “Not very often do these big name musicals come into town.”

In his other role as band director at Kaimuki High School, Tanaka noticed that television shows like “Glee” have re-introduced Broadway musicals and other popular classics to the high school age audience.  Audiences of all ages are appreciating the catchy tunes, dramatic arrangements, and toe-tapping rhythms of the show tune style.

Two conductors will share the baton with Tanaka:  Retired UH Director of Bands Grant Okamura and Keith Higaki, band director at Sacred Hearts Academy.

Honolulu’s 60-member community band was established in 1973, and is still going strong in its mission to provide amateur musicians the opportunity to practice and perform with excellent musicians and direction.  The Honolulu Wind Ensemble performs seasonal music throughout the year, including holiday music and Independence Day concerts at local malls, Arcadia retirement home, concert halls, and various other functions.

The 2012-2013 concert season kicks off a year of special events scheduled to commemorate the Band’s 40th anniversary. These include concerts with past HWE directors, a concert piece commissioned by a nationally renowned composer, and culminating with a trip to Japan in 2014 to re-unite with the Omiya Wind Symphony - which was hosted by the HWE in Honolulu last January.

For more information, please email

or visit



January, 2012



HONOLULU – It takes more than an earthquake and tsunami to stop the music.

Two community bands, separated by 4,500 miles of Pacific Ocean, will finally play a joint concert in Honolulu on Saturday, January 28th, 2012.  

Musicians from the Omiya City Wind Symphony of Saitama, Japan, were on their way to the Tokyo Airport on March 11 when the devastating natural disaster dashed hopes of leaving for Hawaii.  They were scheduled to perform a concert with the Honolulu Community Concert Band on March 12.

The joint concert never happened, but the Honolulu band, under the direction of Les Tanaka, performed a benefit concert that raised more than $5,000 for the Japanese Tsunami Relief effort.   Fast forward 10 months: now the bands will come together to perform a free concert at 2 p.m. at the Pearl City High School Cultural Center (2100 Hookiekie Street).

Honolulu’s 75-member community band, established in 1973, has been practicing throughout the summer and fall for the long-anticipated concert. According to band director Les Tanaka, “In March, we were glad to hear that everyone was okay.  Then in June, they contacted us and said they were planning on coming back.  The gift of music has brought our two communities closer together despite all that has happened. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity and honor to perform with the Omiya musicians.”

The Japanese band is conducted by world-renowned band director and composer Toshio Akiyama, who also led the Sony Japan Corporation band for 42 years.

“Mr. Akiyama is highly regarded as the ‘father of the wind band movement’ in Japan,” said Tanaka. The 81-year-old Akiyama has been highly sought out as a guest conductor throughout the world. He has been honored by the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.

The featured soloist for the Omiya City Wind Symphony is Jun Yamaoka, euphonium virtuoso who teaches at the Shobi College of Music in Japan and studied with legendary tuba player, Arnold Jacobs.

Community bands around the world share the mission of providing amateur musicians the opportunity to practice and perform.  Musicians come from all walks of life including music teachers, business people, professors, doctors, lawyers, and students. 

Like the Honolulu Community Concert Band, players in the Omiya City Wind Symphony come from all backgrounds and professions.  Both bands perform seasonal music throughout the year to entertain their local audiences.

Music performed at the January 28th concert includes contemporary band music, jazz, traditional folk music, and a spirited Klezmer wedding dance. The public is invited to attend.

For more information, visit


Clayton Char,
Jun 27, 2014, 1:35 AM
Clayton Char,
Jun 27, 2014, 1:35 AM