Randy Wong was appointed executive director in 2012 and promoted by the Board of Directors to President in 2018. He previously held management positions in the Music-in-Education National Consortium, and has built his career around the development of music programs for under-resourced communities. As President of HYS, Mr. Wong oversees all aspects of the organization.
A strong believer in “many hands means less work,” Mr. Wong has produced several successful institutional partnerships, including an annual Side-by-Side with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Music in the Clubhouse with the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii (Honolulu and Nanakuli clubs), and the Orchestral Learning Alliance with the National Orchestral Institute+Festival.
Mr. Wong holds degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and New England Conservatory. He has published research on music’s essential roles in communities and education and served on the New England Conservatory faculty from 2009-2018. He is also an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders Program (League of American Orchestras), the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders (Stanford Graduate School of Business), and the AmEx Leadership Academy (Center for Creative Leadership). In 2018, the Hawaii Community Foundation presented him with a Ho’okele Award for nonprofit leadership.
A professional musician, Mr. Wong is a bassist in the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and has notably performed with celebrated artists including Orquesta Nacional de Jazz de Mexico (ONJMX), Jake Shimabukuro, George Clinton, and others. He studied classical double bass with Todd Seeber (Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Jeffrey Turner (Ret. Principal, Pittsburgh Symphony), jazz bass with Cecil McBee and Keala Kaumeheiwa, and further jazz studies with Michael Cain. He leads The Waitiki 7, an ensemble inspired by midcentury exotica music, and co-founded the label Pass Out Records. His music has been licensed for TV, film, performed by symphony orchestras, acclaimed by national press including Mother Jones, Giant Robot, JazzTimes, and NPR, and has topped college, world, and jazz radio charts. (Apple Music subscribers can find Waitiki’s music under Apple’s curated “Essential Exotica” playlist.)
Mr. Wong currently serves on the Executive Committee of the League of American Orchestras’ Youth Orchestra Division, chairs its Professional Development Resources committee, and the Leadership Team of Hawaii Public Radio’s Generation Listen.
Articles & Publications
Lawrence Scripp, Patrick Keppel, & Randy Wong, eds. (2007) Journal for Music-in-Education.
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