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Maui-born musician to conduct the Select Band

April 16, 2008
The Maui News
WAILUKU — A Maui High and Kalama Intermediate alumnus who is currently a graduate assistant at the University of Hawaii-Manoa returns to Maui this week to conduct the Maui Intermediate Select Band at the 38th Intermediate School Music Festival.

Ryan Howe, a decorated bassoonist and percussionist, has been working with the 61-member Select Band. Musicians come from six campuses: Doris Todd Christian, Emmanuel Lutheran, Iao Intermediate, Kamehameha Maui Middle, Maui Waena Intermediate and Oahu’s Stevenson Middle schools.

The students earned their spots in the band following a tryout earlier this year.

Howe has played the bassoon with the Honolulu Symphony and the Royal Hawaiian Band, and was a percussionist with the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, a renowned drum-and-bugle corps.

He also has taught at Iao Intermediate and Maui High schools as well as at Castle, Moanalua and Pearl City high schools on Oahu.

The Select Band will play Saturday, the second night of the Music Festival. Its lineup will feature “Fanfare and Flourishes II” by James Curnow; “Prairie Songs” by Pierre LaPlante; “Highlights from ‘The Lion King,’‘‘ by Elton John, Hans Zimmer and Mark Mansina, and arranged by Jay Bocook; and “I’ve Got Rhythm,” George Gershwin’s composition with an original arrangement by Kamehameha Schools Maui band instructor Siuai Laufou.

The arrangement will showcase trombone soloist Travis Oh, drummer Preston Jones and bassist Mark Kuraya.

Oh is a student at UH-Manoa and performs with the university’s wind ensemble, and jazz band orchestra. He is also a clinician with Moanalua high and middle schools and the Hawaii Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Jones, the son of Anthony and Valerie Jones, is a sophomore at Maui High and a top taiko performer with Zenshin Daiko. He is an alumnus of Iao School.

Kuraya, who has a master’s of music on double bass from Indiana University, has played with the Honolulu Symphony and the Hawaii Opera Theater. He was also bassist for Billy Kauhi before the latter retired. Currently, Kuraya plays bass for the Praise Team at Wellspring Covenant Church on Oahu.

The Select Band also will be part of the 300-member Massed Band on the final night of the festival. The Massed Band will play “March of the Irish Guard” by James Ployhar and conducted by Iao band director James Balicanta; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” arranged by Johnnie Vinson and conducted by Doris Todd band teacher Noel Kuraya; and “Trash Talk,” an original composition by Noel Kuraya and conducted by Laufou.

The festival will open Thursday evening with the Parade of Bands featuring bands from five schools playing compositions, as follows:

• Doris Todd, “Valdres” by Johannes Hanssen, arranged by James Curnow; and “Shout to the Lord” by Darlene Zschech, arranged by Noel Kuraya.

• Kamehameha Maui, “Above the World” by Rob Grice; “Jammin’ with Charlie” by Dean Sorenson and Bruce Pearson; and “Rhythmicity” by Tim Wimer.

• Emmanuel Lutheran, directed by Andrea Ka‘io — “Creed” by William Himes; and “Marches of the Armed Forces,” arranged by Michael Sweeney.

• Stevenson Middle, directed by Ross Nakamura — “Cantus Jubilante” by David Shaffer; and “Highlights from Mary Poppins” by Robert and Richard Sherman, arranged by Alfred Reed.

• Iao 7th-grade band, “The Vanguard March” by Robert Foster, and “Monmouth Overture” by Michael Sweeney.

• Iao 8th-grade band, “Miyazaki Medley” by Joe Hisaishi, arranged by Casey Nagata; and “Season of Love/Finale from the Musical ‘Rent’ ” by Jonathan Larson, arranged by Jay Bocook, with percussion arrangement by Will Rapp.

The program will begin at 7 both nights at the War Memorial Gym. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students.

Article Photos

Ryan Howe conducts the Maui Intermediate Select Band during a recent rehearsal at Iao Intermediate School. Howe, a Kalama Intermediate and Maui High alumnus, will conduct the band at the 38th Intermediate School Music Festival to be held Thursday and Saturday evenings at the War Memorial Gym. The music begins at 7 both nights.

Fact Box

38th Maui Intermediate School Band Festival
• When: Thursday, Parade of Bands; Saturday finale, Maui Intermediate Select and Massed bands; 7 p.m. both days.
• Where: War Memorial Gym.
• Tickets: $2 adults, $1 students.
• Participating schools: Iao Intermediate School, Doris Todd Memorial Christian School, Emmanuel Lutheran School, Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle School, Maui WaenaIntermediate School, Stevenson (Oahu) Middle School.



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