KAHULUI - Excitement is building for the Institute of Hawaiian Music's auditions that will be held Oct. 21-22. And for good reason - never before have aspiring musicians had the opportunity to be directly mentored by some of the legendary artists of Hawaiian music.
Following the audition process, 25 lucky students will be chosen to train under the guidance of Grammy Award-winning slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr., as well as other mentor artists like Dennis Kamakahi, Ken Emerson, Owana Salazar and Brother Noland.
All applicants must register online for the audition by Oct. 20 at www.maui.hawaii.edu/ihm. Applicants will have a six-minute time limit to introduce themselves, present a brief background of their performance piece and then perform their song or medley of songs.
The comprehensive Hawaiian music program, funded by a grant from the Department of Labor, begins this spring at the University of Hawaii Maui College.
The curriculum includes courses in music theory, composition, stagecraft, ukulele and guitar, along with classes in Hawaiian mythology, Hawaiian language and hula.
"We can't wait to hear the talent I know is out there," said Kahumoku. "It's exciting for student musicians with a love for Hawaiian music and for the artist mentors passing down the tradition. We're all going to grow and learn together."
Digital music production, including the use of mobile applications, will also be covered in the curriculum.
Students will have many opportunities to play live with Kahumoku and the other participating artists, culminating in a final show and the production of a full-length commercial compact disc.
Mentor artists include Dennis Kamakahi, Maisey & JJ Rika, Kawika Kahiapo, Ledward Ka'apana, Richard Ho'opi'i, Wilmont Kahaialii, Sean Na'auao, Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole, Keali'i Tau'a, John and Hope Keawe, Herb Ohta Jr., Kimo West, Liko-O-Kalani Martin, Benny Uyetake, Glenn Kakugawa, Keoki Kahumoku, Jon Yamasato, Bobby Ingano, Peter deAquino, Garrett Probst, Ron Kualaao, Shawn Pimental
Willie K and Ikaika, Kevin and Sheldon Brown.
This is a rare opportunity for aspiring musicians to train intensively in Hawaiian music, join a network of supportive, established artists and launch their own successful music career.