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Students urged to apply at Institute of Hawaiian Music

By Staff | Jul 11, 2019

Institute of Hawaiian Music faculty Joel Katz, who was also instrumental in the award-winning album, showcases the new studio.

KAHULUI – The University of Hawaii Maui College’s Institute of Hawaiian Music (IHM) held a blessing for its recently renovated ‘Apo Leo Learning Studio last month, just in time to honor its faculty and students whose final recording project was selected as the Hawaiian EP (Extended Play) of the Year at the 2019 Na? Hoku Hanohano music awards.

IHM Faculty Coordinator Keola Donaghy was proud of the team’s recognition, noting the limitations they had prior to the studio’s renovation, which necessitated renting time at commercial studios to ensure acoustic quality.

“The Na Hoku win was a great measure of our success, so imagine what our future students can do with the newly improved facility,” said Donaghy.

The ‘Apo Leo Learning Studio renovation began last year as part of a U.S. Department of Education grant intended to strengthen music and Hawaiian performing arts at UH Maui College.

It includes a combination classroom and control room that houses the facility’s state-of-the-art recording system and space for student learning.

From left, Institute of Hawaiian Music Project Specialist Leihuanani Keali‘inohomoku and Faculty Coordinator Keola Donaghy celebrate the award with students Kyoko Meinen, Marie Donaghy, Elaine Olson and Max Angel (Koakane Mattos is not pictured).

There is also an isolated talent room, with sound lock, where performances are recorded.

The IHM program has won two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards so far – the first for the compilation CD “Aloha ‘Ia No ‘O Maui” in 2016 and “‘He Lani Ko Luna, He Honua Ko Lalo,” which was this year’s Hawaiian EP of the Year.

UH Maui College’s IHM is a one-of-a-kind mentorship program dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music.

Formal university classes are supplemented with mentorship sessions led by professional Hawaiian musicians.

Students selected for the IHM program will receive exclusive opportunities to receive personal training, guidance and knowledge through mentor-mentee relationships with performers, composers and industry professionals, including Keali’i Reichel, Raiatea Helm, Jake Shimabukuro, Kenneth Makuakane and former IHM Director and Grammy Award-winning slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr.

Interested students may audition by contacting ihm@hawaii.edu or (808) 984-3570. The application deadline for fall 2019 is Aug. 1.