UHCC hosts internationally recognized Hakuoh University Handbell Choir

University of Hawaiʻi
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Posted: Jan 30, 2015

Hakuoh University Handbell Choir from 2013.
Hakuoh University Handbell Choir from 2013.

HONOLULU – Celebrating its 27th anniversary, the internationally-recognized Hakuoh University Handbell Choir will be on O'ahu from February 13-18 for its 24th Goodwill Tour of Hawai'i, offering four public concerts, scheduled performances for friends of Hakuoh University, and more than 500 O‘ahu school children.  

Led by acclaimed director Hirotaka Arai, who founded the choir in 1988, the 13 student handbell ringers will perform free public concerts on:

February 13, at 7 p.m. at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St., Honolulu

February 14, at 5 p.m. at Ala Moana Centerstage,1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu

February 17, at 7 p.m. at Windward Community College’s Palikū Theatre, 45-720 Kea'ahala Rd., Kāne'ohe

February 18, at 10 a.m. at Leeward Community College Theatre, 96-045 Ala ʻIke, Pearl City

The choir will perform a range of selections from classical standards including Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” to contemporary hits from Disney’s Frozen “Let it Go” as well as a Hawaiian favorite “Hawaiʻi Aloha.”  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 Goodwill Tour of Hawaiʻi includes a performance for friends of Hakuoh University at a Friendship Luncheon at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi’s Mānoa Grand Ballroom.  In addition, they have scheduled free concerts for students on Saturday, February 14, at Ala Moana Centerstage, Tuesday, February 17, at Windward Community College, and on Wednesday, February 18, at Leeward Community College.

From their home in Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, Hakuoh’s 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.  They have performed at Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and the International Handbell Symposium in Jeju, South Korea in August 2014.

In September 2013, Hakuoh University renewed an international cooperative agreement with the University of Hawaiʻi 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.