Professor David Blon left the UH Mānoa faculty at the end of the 2015–16 academic year. David Blon served UH Mānoa with a clarity of vision and dedication to excellence akin to former directors of band Richard Lum, Grant Okamura, and Tom Bingham. During his five years Mr. Blon lead the UH Mānoa Symphonic Band and Jazz Band, took on the Marching Band Program, and reinvigorated student leadership. His imprint on the O‘ahu music educator community is widely felt.
Straight from Master’s work, Mr. Blon arrived at UH Mānoa five years ago. For many students, he is the only Director of the Rainbow Warrior Marching Band and the only conductor of the Symphonic Band that they have known. Of great importance to Mr. Blon was a sense ownership among students, a sense that they felt that the band was truly theirs.
The number of enthusiastic students in leadership positions is a testament to his successes while at UH Mānoa, as is rapid renewed interest in Jazz Band and high watermarks at the Rainbow Invitational Marching Band Festival. Mr. Blon is off to the Conservatory of Music at University of Missouri-Kansas City to earn a DMA in Wind Conducting. It is with a heartfelt mahalo that UH Mānoa Music ‘ohana wish him well on his next exciting chapter.
The University of Hawai‘i Bands have a long, rich history that began in 1923 with an eighteen-member drum and bugle corps. Today, the UH Bands are comprised of some 300 students, performing in the 200-member UH Rainbow Warrior Marching Band, three concert bands, and five pep bands. These bands are led by a world-class faculty and join the music departments wide range of Western and non-Western ensembles.