Hawaii Youth Symphony

A Message from Mr. Stepec about Symphony+

A Message from Mr. Stepec about Symphony+

Our music theory program will teach students basic concepts about musical form, meter and notation in addition to the fundamental principles of harmony and harmonic motion. These classes will be taught by Donald Womack, a member of the composition faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi and a recently named Guggenheim Fellow and Devin Ulibarri, faculty member of the Preparatory and Continuing Education program at the New England Conservatory of Music. As a part of this portion of our program, we have partnered with the MAP (Music, Art and Programming) Family Learning Center. The MAP Center teaches students basic theory skills by utilizing a state of the art computer program that allows students to “compose” music with computer code thereby instilling musical and computational concepts.

HYS Symphony+ will also feature a series of masterclasses on orchestral repertoire taught by members of the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra. Students will have the ability to play for each other and be coached on these excerpts from members of their own hometown professional orchestra. These classes will be helpful in reinforcing the importance of rhythm, articulation and musical expression, in addition to offering students an insider’s perspective into the world of ensemble playing and auditioning. 

Finally, our online program will be offering a series of online concerts for our students featuring artists from across the world including Paris-based baroque violinist, Augusta McKay-Lodge, Joseph Conyers, the Assistant Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Nathaniel Silberschlag, Principal Horn of the Cleveland Orchestra and more! These concerts will specifically be tailored to our students and students will have the ability to participate in a Q and A session with all of our guest artists. 

Music is much more than just a memorable tune: it is an organized language that speaks to our senses, our hearts. While in rehearsals we often spend a lot of time focusing on our ensemble playing, our online program provides a unique opportunity to discover and delve deeper into how music “works.” Our program will teach you concepts that are often only taught in collegiate programs. We at HYS are endeavoring to get you “ahead of the game” by offering you a richer understanding of music: how to listen to it and how to recognize how composers create stories through notes.

We hope that you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to grow and learn from some of the great musical minds from across the country!


—J. Stepec