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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                February 1, 2005

Release M-14



Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

              Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767




            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced the appointment of Michael D. Nakasone to be the bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band.


            Nakasone, the longtime director of bands at Pearl City High School, will replace Aaron Mahi, whose term will end on February 15.


            “We thank Aaron for his many years of dedicated service and we wish him well,” said Hannemann.


             Nakasone’s appointment is subject to Honolulu City Council approval.


            “We are delighted to have a person of Mike’s caliber take over the leadership of the Royal Hawaiian Band,” Hannemann said. “He has the artistic talent, management skills and proven fund-raising ability to take the band to the next level.”


            Nakasone, 60, is a Hilo native with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has been a music educator with the state Department of Education for 37 years, 28 of them at Pearl City High, where he built a program that is the envy of music educators across the nation.


            In 1996, Nakasone was named state Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education, the only bandmaster to earn that honor.


 He took the Pearl City Marching Band on many out-of-state trips. Those include four appearances in the Tournament of Roses Parade in California and three in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  The band also performed in Canada and Japan under his leadership. Each trip involved up to 300 student musicians and costs of roughly $500,000. Those funds were raised by the students and the parent booster club.


            The Pearl City Concert Band also distinguished itself under Nakasone’s leadership. It is the only high school band in Hawaii to ever receive the Sudler Flag of Honor from the John Philip Sousa Foundation or to be invited to the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.


            Nakasone’s initial plans for the Royal Hawaiian Band include:


·       Create a Royal Hawaiian Band Cultural Advisory Board that would recommend hula halau, dancers and singers to perform with the band. Victoria Holt Takamine and Wayne Panoke have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the board.


·       Expand the band’s role in education with an outreach program that would greatly increase the number of performances the band gives in public and private schools. “My love is to teach,” Nakasone said.


·       Launch a campaign to raise funds for the Royal Hawaiian Band nationally and internationally as well as in Hawaii.


The Royal Hawaiian Band was created by King Kamehameha III in 1836. It is the oldest band in Hawaii and the oldest municipal band in the United States.









Tuesday, February 01, 2005

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