20 Nov 2018

Aloha Fellow Music Lover

This past year has been a transformative one for your beloved Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra, and we are all most grateful to you for helping to make it possible. We have secured a financial plan that has put us on two feet, but your continued support is needed to keep us moving forward and sustainable. Here are two important ways you can help. First, please consider being both a donor and subscriber. Both are needed for financial sustainability. There are advantages and perks for being both, and it is by far the best way to help your orchestra at this critical time. Second, invite your friends to the concerts and spread the word! The HSO is phenomenal by any measure, but it must be experienced to be appreciated. Any empty seat is an opportunity missed!

Our audiences are growing, our special events are all the rave, and world-class conductors and artists vigorously compete with one another for the opportunity to work with your orchestra! In recent weeks HSO Artistic Advisor JoAnn Falletta has been working with staff and musicians to select, through a rigorous audition process, talented and accomplished musicians to add to your already world-class orchestra.

The face of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra is changing! Our beloved original members (former musicians of the Honolulu Symphony) courageously and tirelessly worked to save the orchestra and to recreate it as the Hawai’i Symphony. Now the entire organization is thrilled to begin to welcome new members who have won auditions with the orchestra over the last two years. Here is a photo of our newest HSO musicians!
FIRST ROW: Malcolm Armstrong, Sung Chan Chang, Cello Guo, Michelle Feng, Tommy Morrison, Becca Laurito, Anna Lenhart
SECOND ROW: Matt Love, Helen Liu, JoAnn Lamolino, Joshua Nakazawa, JF, Yuseon Nam, Kiwon Kim, Rachel Saul
THIRD ROW: Chris Cabrera

There’s been good action behind the scenes too, as the staff has been joined by a couple of dynamic professionals, each of whom bring energy and creativity to our ohana. I hope you’ve had a chance to meet our Marketing Director Heather Arias de Cordoba – she’s been with us for a year now, and is the one who so relishes the wearing of many hats, both literally and figuratively. Equally irrepressible is our brand new Development Director Shaunna Gutina…among many other distinctions a single-engine pilot and attorney.
Just the other day Shaunna happened to ask me why it is that so many of the various activities and community services the HSO regularly undertakes seem to go unrecognized by even some of our most enthusiastic supporters.

The Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra and the Hawaii Youth Symphony at the Side-by-Side concert on Thursday, October 25 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. This spectacular performance was lead by the HYS Music Director John Devlin.

She was perhaps thinking of our ongoing collaboration with the Hawaii Youth Symphony (most recently, our latest Side-By-Side concert in which HSO musicians pair up with HYS musicians for a symphonic double-whammy); or of the recent master class given at Iolani School by rising star violinist Bella Hristova, a regular contribution made by our visiting artists; or of such cross-organizational efforts as the Symphony of Hawaiian Birds, presented in partnership with the University of Hawaii and Bishop Museum for local school children so successfully last year that it’s being re-staged this year; or maybe the various Ohana, Community, and Pop-Up concerts staged every year as opportunities arise….or all manner of educational and outreach projects made available to our community every year. And Shaunna is right…most of it goes unheralded.


Largely, this has to do with the fact that our budget for publicity (as for most non-artistic activities) is laughably small. As we regain our legs, though, this will improve and, as a result, our community’s awareness of the huge contribution the HSO makes to our community’s quality of life. And so, the cycle becomes self-sustaining, and every year the HSO becomes more stable, its future brighter, and our community a richer place, in the ways that are truly important.

Which is why, as I mentioned at the outset, we are so grateful to you for your support at this critical stage and that we need your continued support for the HSO’s ongoing development and sustainability. I’m sure you’re aware by now that the HSO doesn’t skimp in its efforts to provide you the very best in its musical offerings.

Our goal for this end of the year campaign is $200,000. Please help us by making a financial gift so we may continue to provide, the highest quality of music to our community. Never forget: From keiki to kupuna, music enriches lives. Great music transforms them.


  • 1 HawaiianMiles per dollar when you donate $500 – $1,499
  • 2 HawaiianMiles per dollar when you donate $1,500 – $4,999
  • 3 HawaiianMiles per dollar when you donate $5,000 – $9,999
  • 10 HawaiianMiles per dollar when you donate $10,000 – $24,999
    *Donor must provide HawaiianMiles number at time of donation.