UH Community Colleges hosts internationally-recognized Hakuoh University Handbell Choir

Public performances by all-female ensemble scheduled at Central Union Church and Windward Community College, February 17-18

Hawaiʻi Community College
Posted: Feb 9, 2009

HONOLULU — Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the internationally-recognized Hakuoh University Handbell Choir will be on Oʻahu from February 15-22 on its 17th Goodwill Tour of Hawaiʻi, offering two public concerts and scheduled performances for the Consular Corps of Hawaiʻi, more than 600 Oʻahu school children and long term care patients at Kuakini Medical Center.

Led by acclaimed director Hirotaka Arai, who founded the choir in 1988, the 18 student handbell ringers will perform free public concerts on:

  • Tuesday, February 17, at 7 p.m. at Central Union Church, 1660 South Beretania St., Honolulu; and
  • Wednesday, February 18, at 7 p.m. at Windward Community College‘s Palikū Theatre, 45-720 Keaʻahala St., Kaneʻohe

The choir will perform a range of selections from classical standards including Mozart‘s "Le nozze di Figaro" to contemporary hits from the musical "The Lion King." The choir has the capacity to ring seven octaves of handbells, and their dedication to practice and performance has created worldwide demand for their music.

The choir will kick-off its Goodwill Tour of Hawaiʻi with a performance for the Consular Corps of Hawaiʻi at a Friendship Luncheon on Tuesday, February 17, at 11 a.m. at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi‘s Manoa Ballroom. In addition, they have scheduled free concerts for Windward District school children on Wednesday, February 18, at Windward Community College, and Leeward District school children on Thursday, February 19, at Leeward Community College. On Friday, February 20, the choir will perform for long term care patients at Kuakini Medical Center.

From their home in Oyama City, Tochigi prefecture, Japan, Hakuoh‘s all-female ensemble has traveled to performances in Canada, England and Australia and has entertained audiences including the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the King and Queen of Belgium. In August 2008, the choir attended the International Handbell Symposium in Orlando, Fla., and also performed at Disney World. They also perform annually at Tokyo Disneyland.

In February 2007, Hakuoh University signed an international cooperative agreement with the University of Hawaii Community Colleges. The annual Handbell Choir Concert, co-sponsored by Hakuoh University and the UH Community Colleges, is one of the cooperative activities undertaken by the two institutions.

For more information about the choir‘s performances, call (808) 956-0321.