Maui Connections

Being an artist is one thing. Being an inspiration is something else. Juliet Green is both.

The daughter of the late Liz-Janes Brown and Pat Green, Juliet has received the Jazz Education Achievement Award from DownBeat Magazine, the nation’s preeminent jazz publication.

Proud stepfather Paul Janes-Brown emailed a copy of the article, fronting the magazine’s 42nd Student Music Awards section, headlined “Tireless, Dedicated Mentor.” It focuses on Juliet’s career teaching music in the Portola Valley area of San Mateo County, Calif., since 1991.

” ‘Juliet teaches every class with a smile,’ said Kristen Shima, assistant principal at Corte Madera School, where Green teaches general music, band and the DownBeat Award-winning Panache vocal jazz ensemble,” reports James Hale in the magazine. The article casts her as that one inspiring teacher each of us had at some point in our lives.

Juliet grew up on Maui where her own mentors included Mark Kennedy, Paul Wood, Linda Takita and Sally Sefton. She went to Seabury Hall and performed in Maui Youth Theatre productions under Takita’s direction.

Juliet is a recording artist as well, with several CDs, but teaching provides the biggest reward, says DownBeat. Her lessons extend beyond the music room.

” ‘Kids want to be right and they don’t want to be seen making mistakes,’ “ she says in the article.

” ‘I show them that it’s OK to be weird, to fail — to find ways to be creative with your mistakes. I model that for them, and they grow from that.’ “

Juliet will be back on Maui this week, watching Paul portray the abusive father of a schizophrenic son, joining cast members including Dan Church, Shane Borge, John Galvan, Rueben Carrion and Francis Carrion in “The Boys Next Door.” Maui OnStage’s drama set in a communal residence for mentally challenged men continues weekends through May 12 at the Historic Iao Theater.

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Family and friends gathered at Pi’iholo Ranch Saturday to celebrate the life of Donald W. Reeser, superintendent of Haleakala National Park from 1988 to 2005. Cynthia Conrad and Jerry Labb provided this moving account of the gathering “to remember a Renaissance Man who was named one of Maui County’s ‘Top 100 Citizens’ of the past century.

“Mele Fong and Richard Tom sang softly as guests gathered under the tents in the pastoral setting. The Rev. Heather Mueller led the program and Ki’ope Raymond gave the opening ‘oli followed by heartwarming stories by National Park Service colleague Peter Kafka. Peter Baldwin presented the ‘Empty Saddle Tribute,’ a horse adorned with flowers, Don’s NPS saddle and his hat encircled by a haku lei — plants from the Reesers’ Makawao property.

“A misty rain fell, blessing the ceremony as Brian Moto spoke fondly of Don’s tireless work with Rotary Club of Maui. Natalie Gates, the current NPS superintendent, told of Don’s accomplishments and unforgettable legacy. Matt Wordeman and Dr. Fern Duvall, representing Friends of Haleakala National Park, related stories of Don’s dedication to preservation and how he helped rid the crater of feral goats and pigs, allowing native species and bird populations to thrive. If you’ve ever hiked through the crater in serene silence, you have Don to thank for partnering with aviation companies to agree to prohibit helicopter flights over the summit.

“Writer Valerie Monson gave an account of how their friendship was forged and Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa was founded due to Don’s desire to find the grave of a family member who died at Kalaupapa early in the last century.

“Besides his 44-year career with the National Park Service, friends remembered the delicious homemade strawberry-rhubarb pies, honey, coffee, wine and beer, that he generously shared, not to mention his worldwide travels, expert videography and photography.

“Son and daughter-in-law, Bryan and Susan Reeser, thanked the guests and ended with a quote Don loved from Henry David Thoreau:

‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.’

“Under his leadership, Don Reeser made a tremendous impact on Maui and preserved natural and cultural resources we will all enjoy into the future.”

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Past Maui Film Festival honorees Karen Gillan and Brie Larson played their roles in “Avengers: Endgame’s” record-shattering $1.2 billion opening weekend. This year’s festival, returning to Wailea and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center June 12-16, just announced that it will show “Pavarotti,” a documentary by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, at the Celestial Cinema in the coveted Saturday spot following the Taste of Wailea.

Sounds like a delicious pairing.

* Rick Chatenever, award-winning former entertainment and features editor of The Maui News, is a freelance journalist, instructor at UH-Maui College and documentary scriptwriter/producer. Contact him at rickchatenever@gmail.com.