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Hawaii Youth Symphony

HYS Announces PMI 2020!



Early Application Deadline April 3

HONOLULU (January 21, 2020) – Hawaii Youth Symphony’s Pacific Music Institute (PMI) will be offering exciting opportunities for students this summer with the 33rd season of Hawaii’s ultimate summer music camp! New for 2020, PMI will now offer a Summer Jazz Intensive, presented in partnership with Iolani School. Additional music programs spanning all student levels and a wide variety of instruments are offered throughout the course of PMI, running from June 7 through July 12. Over 200 students will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned artists, make lifelong friends, and embrace their passion for orchestral music.

“At PMI, we believe that music is life and our lives are music,” said HYS president, Randy Wong. “We are thrilled to have esteemed maestro Joseph Stepec lead our PMI vision this year as Artistic Director, and for students from all over Hawaii—and from around the globe—to join us in Honolulu for what will be an unforgettable summer!”

PMI will also broaden its partnership with the National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F), known as the Orchestral Learning Alliance (OLA), to include String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble programs, in addition to Symphony Orchestra. Participants will have the opportunity to meet other motivated students their age and skill level, while they learn from an outstanding and diverse group of mentors. To name but a few of the renowned guest artist-faculty members at PMI 2020, Ignace “Iggy” Jang (Concertmaster, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra), Catherine Chen (Principal Bassoon, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), Toby Oft (Principal Trombone, Boston Symphony Orchestra), internationally celebrated violinist GaHyun Cho, and alumnus Shawn Conley (bassist with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble). See our faculty list here.

The exciting new Summer Jazz Intensive program provides access to Iolani School’s state-of-the-art rehearsal facilities, new performance opportunities, and more. Spearheaded by director of HYS Jazz Dean Taba, the partnership with Iolani School has been in the works since PMI 2019, when Taba and Curtis Abe, director of Iolani School stage bands andcombos, brainstormed ways for the two programs to combine their resources in an effort to provide the highest quality jazz education. The new Summer Jazz Intensive will also introduce to the Pacific Music Institute renowned faculty from the University of Texas at Arlington. The resulting week-long program will allow students from public and private schools, as well as neighbor island and national visitors, to receive expert instruction from more than a dozen notable jazz musicians. HYS alumnus Abe Lagrimas Jr., a multi-talented drummer, vibraphonist, and educator who has performed with Kamasi Washington, Eric Marienthal, and competed in the Thelonius Monk Competition, are among the Institute’s star-studded faculty.

PMI programs range in duration from five days to two weeks. Depending on an individual’s area of study and audition, they may be eligible for more than one program, and students may apply for more than one program with the same audition. Hawaii residents, as well as out-of-state and international students, are invited to learn more about the different areas of study and the application process at PMI Programs. Applicants are encouraged to apply by the Early Application Deadline of April 3, 2020 to explore additional financial aid, scholarship and housing opportunities.

PMI program dates are as follows:

  • June 7 – 12, 2020: Summer Jazz Intensive—presented in partnership with Iolani School
  • June 25 – July 3, 2020: Solo and String Quartet Program
  • July 5 – 12, 2020: Orchestral Learning Alliance ensembles—presented in partnership with the National Orchestra Institute + Festival:
    • String Orchestra, with HYS Academy String Program Director, Chad Uyehara
    • Symphony Orchestra, with PMI Artistic Director Joseph Stepec, and NOI+F Director Richard Scerbo
    • Wind Ensemble, with Robert Ponto and Dr. Adam Kehl

“I’m delighted by the amazing opportunities ahead for these students as they get to challenge themselves, have fun and learn from our incredible guest faculty that are drawn from some of the finest institutes of music around the world, “said PMI Artistic Director, and HYS Director of Orchestral Activities, Joseph Stepec. “Getting to know other youth who love music as much as you do is the surest way to make lifelong friendships and great music!”


About Hawaii Youth Symphony:

Established as a non-profit organization in 1964, the Hawaii Youth Symphony promotes and celebrates the importance of music study on academic achievement and social-emotional development, through its mission to develop youth to their fullest potential through orchestral music. Its programs service youth through orchestral music education, performances and community engagement. Each year, the organization serves more than 700 students ages 7 through 18 from over 100 schools statewide. For more information, call (808) 941-9706 or visit


About Pacific Music Institute:

For over 30 years, Hawaii Youth Symphony’s Pacific Music Institute has been defining the musical experience for more than 3,000 aspiring young musicians. By offering summer programs, PMI has allowed for musicians to embrace music through various instruments such as string, band, jazz and more! In 2020, we will welcome internationally-acclaimed soloists, principal players from major symphony orchestras, Juilliard faculty, outstanding jazz & studio musicians, HYS alumni, and more. All of them are renowned teachers and pedagogues, with HYS’ mission to develop students to their fullest potential, as a common goal.


About National Orchestral Institute + Festival

The National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F) is a program of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, and has been a leader in the training and mentoring of young orchestral musicians, ages 18-28, for over three decades. To address the changing world of symphony orchestras, NOI builds its summer program of rehearsals, masterclasses, concerts and seminars to better prepare students for the next steps in their professional careers. NOI+F is the featured orchestra on the Naxos recording of “Ruggles, Stucky & Harbison: Orchestral Works,” conducted by Albany Symphony’s David Alan Miller and nominated for a 2019 Grammy.

Visit for more information on NOI+F.