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American Wild Ensemble (visiting artists)

February 7, 7:30 pm

free admission

American Wild Ensemble (visiting artists)

The Music in the American Wild initiative began in 2016 with a commissioning project inspired by and performance tour of American national parks, in honor of the National Park Service centennial. Since their initial tours performing in unconventional venues, from caves to mountaintops, the American Wild Ensemble has continued to celebrate American places, historic figures, and events by commissioning new works and performing them in site-inspired and site-specific locations. Since 2016 they have commissioned 20 new works for 2-7 performers, with the support of organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America, for performances in both traditional and nontraditional venues across the country. They emphasize audience engagement both through performance format and programming, aiming to offer a cohesive experience that connects listeners to the spaces around them through music designed with those spaces in mind.

The performing ensemble is comprised of young professionals who share a background in studies at Eastman School of Music and now perform with orchestras, teach at universities, and freelance across the country and internationally. Ensemble directors Emlyn Johnson (flute) and Daniel Ketter (cello) are both on faculty at Missouri State University.

From February 5-15, the American Wild Ensemble will perform on Oahu and the Big Island, premiering new works by University of Hawaii composers Takuma Itoh and Michael-Thomas Foumai, professor emeritus Byron Yasui, and Hawaii-born composer Tonia Ko, as well as additional works from their repertoire. Each of these new compositions explores an aspect of Hawaiian wildlife, geography, or culture, meant to celebrate the beauty of Hawaii and raise awareness about environmental issues and efforts throughout the state and beyond. Takuma Itoh’s new piece, Adaptation Variations, is supported by a grant from Chamber Music America. Performances will take place at University of Hawaii-Manoa, UH Lyon Arboretum, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and additional schools around Honolulu. For more information, please visit musicintheamericanwild.com.

Ensemble Members

  • Emlyn Johnson, flute
  • Ellen Breakfield-Glick, clarinet
  • Lauren Becker, horn
  • Hanna Hurwitz, violin
  • Alexander Peña, viola
  • Daniel Ketter, cello


  • Michael-Thomas Foumai: E Mālama i ke kai (2019)
  • Byron Yasui: Dance of the Goddess Pelehonuamea (2019)
  • Tonia Ko: Covers and Uncovers (2016)
  • Mason Bates: Life of Birds (2008)
  • Takuma Itoh: Adaptation Variations (2019)
  • Tonia Ko: New work, title TBD (2019)

Free admission

music students: this concert is eligible for Mus 199 attendance credit

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February 7
7:30 pm
free admission
Event Category:


Music at Mānoa


Orvis Auditorium at UH Mānoa
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822 United States
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