Updated 7/2012

The Hawaii Youth Symphony advances critical and positive links between music study, academic achievement, and social emotional development with programs that service youth through orchestral music education, performance opportunities, and community engagement.


HYS envisions a Hawaii where every young person can experience the timeless value of music, learn to play a musical instrument, or otherwise embrace a lifelong appreciation for musical learning.


HYS develops its curriculum around four core values:

Lifelong Learning  HYS unites hundreds of students, regardless of financial standing, from different schools, cultural backgrounds and socio-economic conditions around the creation of high-quality music. HYS students gain more than growth in music; they gain skills for both lifelong learning and friendships. The demands of weekly rehearsals and multiple performances encourage responsibility, organization, commitment, self-confidence, poise and teamwork. They necessitate an ability to listen to others to achieve a common goal, personal discipline and dedication.

Musical Excellence HYS provides arts education based on musical excellence by offering young people progressive opportunities to study orchestral music under the tutelage of high-quality educators. A significant part of HYS’s quest for excellence includes holding its students to a high degree of professionalism. Participating students are required to attend regular rehearsals and are held to a similar standard of a professional workplace whereby students must take responsibility for their absences/tardiness and understand the consequences. As part of its professional expectations agreement, HYS creates professionally-produced concerts to showcase the hard work and efforts of its students in the finest possible settings.

Community Service HYS’s orchestras perform an average of 24 concerts statewide per year. All are open to the public, and half of them are offered free-of-charge, including multiple Listen & Learn educational concerts for more than 10,000 students. HYS firmly believes in making quality music accessible to our communities, especially our children. Community concerts not only allow HYS to showcase its young musicians, they also instill in performing youth a sense of civic responsibility and the value of service-learning. HYS takes its music to under-served populations including areas on the neighbor islands, convalescent and retirement homes and community health and human services facilities.

A Future for Music By continuing its half century tradition of musical excellence, HYS ensures there will be a future for music by cultivating an enduring passion for music in its students, training prospective professional musicians and providing high-quality concerts to develop new generations of audiences and appreciation for music.