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Faculty & Staff

Symphony Program

Director of Orchestral Activities & PMI Artistic Director

Joseph Stepec came to Hawaii from Cleveland, OH in 2016. He is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Music Department. Under his direction, the University of Hawaii Symphony Orchestra has premiered […]

Conductor, Concert Orchestra

Wayne Fanning has performed with the Honolulu Symphony, Royal Hawaiian Band, Kamuela Philharmonic, Kona Chamber Orchestra, Maui Symphony, and the Hawaii County Band. He has served as a clinician and guest conductor for various middle and high school bands in […]

Conductor, Youth Symphony II

Elton Masaki holds a Bachelors of Education Degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in music from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Master of Music in Education Degree from Boston University. He is currently working on a […]

Conductor, Youth Symphony II

Susan Ochi-Onishi has been with Kaimuki Middle since 1993, directing the Beginning and Advanced Concert Bands. Mrs. Ochi-Onishi graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1984 and a PDMUS Secondary Music Education […]

Conductor, Concert Orchestra

Hannah Watanabe is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she received a bachelor’s degree in music education. She is also a former member of the Hawaii Youth Symphony, in which she performed while a student at […]

Academy String Program

Academy String Program Director; Conductor ISE & CSO

An alumnus of HYS, Chad Uyehara conducts the Intermediate String Ensemble and Concert String Orchestra, and has recently been appointed Academy String Program Director. He received his Master’s of Music in Music Education and Viola Performance from Northwestern University where […]

Conductor, Beginning String Ensemble & String Orchestra Ensemble

Joan Doike directed orchestras in the HYS program for fourteen years prior to moving to Indiana. While in Indiana, she taught at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Pre-College String Academy. Ms. Doike currently teaches the HYS Beginning String […]

Academy String Program Coordinator

Talia Turnbull received a Master’s degree in cello performance from Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s degree in music education and cello performance from the University of Oregon. Beginning in Fall 2018, she will serve as the Orchestra Director at […]

Instructor, Summer Strings

Born and raised in Hawaii, Mr. Jeff Hamano has been teaching the Strings Orchestra program at Moanalua Elementary since 2009. He graduated from Kalani High School and received his Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Hawaii Manoa where he […]

Music in the Clubhouse

Conductor, Clubhouse Band

A saxophonist, violinist, and guitarist, Mr. Momohara brings nearly 15 years of music education experience to the program He has taught at Aiea High School, Kalani High School, and Niu Valley Middle School. He has also performed in the UH […]

Teacher, Music4Kids General Music

Joy Waikoloa was born and raised in Honolulu. As a vocalist, she is known for versatility in her song selections, but her deepest passions lie with blues, R&B and jazz. Ms. Waikoloa graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa […]

Artistic Expansion Programs

Solo & String Quartet Program

A dedicated educator, Jang is on the faculty of the University of Hawaii and Punahou School. He spent much of his time ensuring the success of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival String Program before joining the Hawaii Youth Symphony. “It […]

Director, HYS Jazz & Combo I

A highly regarded studio and freelance musician, Dean Taba began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 6 and played french horn in the Hawaii Youth Symphony. It was a desire to play in the high school […]

HYS Jazz - Combo II

Ryan Howe graduated from Maui High School and completed both his Bachelor’s in Music Education and Master’s in Bassoon Performance at the University of Hawaii. He currently teaches middle school band at Moanalua Middle School. Mr. Howe says: “I have […]



Director of Operations, ext. 200

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aris Doike graduated from Moanalua High School and is an alumnus of Hawaii Youth Symphony. He received his musical training with a Bachelor’s of Music Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a […]

Programs Manager, ext. 201

Ann Doike has been a part of HYS for many years. She started as a parent volunteer when her two children joined the Academy String Program back in the early 2000s. Her dedication to the program and active involvement soon […]

PMI General Manager, ext. 700

Jeremy Lawi earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance at the University of British Columbia and Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Education from the University of Hawaii. He currently serves as the music program head at Mid-Pacific Institute […]

Administrative Assistant, ext. 100

Native to Northern California, Samantha Champoux has had music be a part of her entire life. Starting from the age of four, when her mother taught her the notes of the keyboard, her love has continued to grow since then […]

Assistant Operations Manager, ext. 202

Parker Nakamura is a 2017 graduate of Arizona State University and majored in trumpet performance with a concentration in orchestral studies under Regents’ Professor David Hickman. Parker currently teaches music at Pearl City High School and is a part time member […]

Music Librarian & Operations Assistant

Rory Onishi is a professional musician, music educator, and librarian for the Hawaii Youth Symphony. Hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii, he is a 2011 Kalani High School graduate, Hawaii Youth Symphony alumni, and student of Eric Kop. Mr. Onishi went on […]