HONOKAA, Hawaii – The public is invited to the opening of the new exhibit, “Honoka`a Loves Music,” at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo North Hawai`i Education and Research Center’s Heritage Center on Friday, August 23 at 4 p.m. Members of the Honoka`a High School Jazz Band will perform for the opening.
“Honoka`a Loves Music” is an exhibit that celebrates the legacy of musicians and music in the Hamakua community. It begins with Hawaiian oli (chants) of Hamakua, which had the second oldest community band on the island in 1884. The Honoka`a Band was reorganized after World War II and became known as the Hamakua County Band.
The exhibit also features plantation bands that toured from camp to camp playing at manso dances (a type of taxi dance) and other events. Groups like the Harmonizers and Bob Fernandez Orchestra were largely made up of plantation workers who would spend their weekends playing music.
This year marks the 35th year since Honoka`a High School music teacher Gary Washburn started at the school and created the Jazz Band and Ensemble. The exhibit contains a retrospective on the band as well as some featured performers who have gone on to careers in music.
The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 8 – 4 p.m, and Saturdays, 9-1 p.m. The Center is located at 45-539 Plumeria Street in Honoka`a.