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Hawaii Youth Symphony

The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to HYS

Check Presentation April 18, 2021

HONOLULU (April 14, 2021) – As Hawaii Youth Symphony (HYS) begins to resume small in-person student rehearsals, a generous grant of $100,000 has been awarded to Hawaii’s only statewide music education organization by The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation. Funds will be utilized to bolster HYS student scholarships for families in need, and advance its initiatives to serve under-resourced communities. The grant bestowal comes as HYS readies for the return of its Pacific Music Institute, a summer music camp with a more than 30-year tradition, and will additionally help fund camp tuition for qualifying families. A socially distanced check presentation will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2021.

“We are honored to have the support of The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation to advance our vision of making music a right for all children in Hawaii,” said HYS President, Randy Wong. “HYS has been working hard to keep students engaged through the challenges of last year, and to now have this opportunity to increase music accessibility as our in-person programming resumes and our online instruction continues, is an investment in a brighter future for our youth.”

The check to HYS will be presented by The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation Executive Director, Tertia Freas, and trustees Ken Okamoto, Elizabeth Hokada, and Catherine Ching. Receiving the check will be Randy Wong, HYS Board Chair Patti Look, and HYS student representatives. The presentation will be held in a spacious Honolulu warehouse that is being loaned to HYS for safely distanced rehearsals.

The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, via trust agreement, was established in 1967 to continue to fulfill Mr. Ching’s legacy of helping Hawaii’s needy. Among the mission goals of The Foundation is to provide financial grants to organizations that promote the advancement of knowledge and culturei in various fields that include art and music. The expectation is that grant recipients will use the assistance to create a better society.

“Supporting the efforts of the Hawaii Youth Symphony to open enriching learning opportunities to more students across our islands aligns with the mission of The Foundation. The spirit of collaboration that playing in music ensembles requires helps advance the capabilities and self-confidence of young people,” said Ms. Freas.

The Pacific Music Institute by HYS will offer both small in-person and online classes in July of 2021. In-person classes will follow comprehensive safety protocols, with instruction held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Online options will be hosted through the PMI+ platform, and all PMI students —including those opting for in-person instruction— are invited to participate in these online masterclasses with renowned faculty. With support from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation to supplement HYS financial aid and scholarship funds, help will be available for more students in need this summer at PMI.

At a particularly vital time following the financial strains placed on local families throughout 2020, the grant will also support HYS outreach programs and performances that broaden access to music education and opportunity in rural, neighbor island, and under-served communities across Hawaii.

“Supporting the efforts of the Hawaii Youth Symphony to open enriching learning opportunities to more students across our islands aligns with the mission of The Foundation. The spirit of collaboration that playing in music ensembles requires helps advance the capabilities and self-confidence of young people.”

—Tertia Freas, Executive Director
The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation