Social Encore: A trip of a lifetime

Nov. 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

As November kicks off the annual holiday giving season, one Hawaii school is seeking the community’s support to help finance a trip of a lifetime.

‘Iolani School’s orchestra and hula halau will embark on an international performance tour in December that will take them to the Vatican. They’ll host a preview concert on Sunday to raise money for the journey.

iolani orchestra


Featuring guest performer Iggy Jang

» Where: ‘Iolani School, 563 Kamoku St.
» When: 3 p.m. Sunday
» Cost: Free (donations welcome)
» Info:

‘Iolani orchestra director Kathy Hafner, who has been with the school for about 11 years, said conversations about playing at the Vatican began in 2013 when the orchestra visited Kalaupapa to celebrate St. Marianne Cope’s canonization. In the crowd that day were archbishops from around the world.

“It has taken a lot for everything to set into play,” said Hafner. “Things like this experience (are) life-changing.”

There are 50 orchestra members and 12 dancers set to go on the trip, which includes a stop in New York City before continuing on to Italy. A jam-packed itinerary includes visits to Rome and Florence as well.

For some of the students, Hafner has been a part of their musical lives for more than six years and she said a trip like this benefits each child in ways that can only be embraced through experience.

“It helps them think of things that are immortal in society, helps them appreciate art and the warmth in foreign places,” she said. “It helps them accept people that are different and it’s going to give them an opportunity to share our aloha.”

The fundraiser will include performances by other ‘Iolani students and world-renowned violinist Ignace “Iggy” Jang of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra and a music professor at University of Hawai’i. There will also be food, refreshments and baked goods, plus a silent auction and prize giveaways. Silent auction items include brunch for four at Orchids at the Halekulani, Disney hopper passes, a Hawaiian Airlines travel certificate and a Weber grill.

“These kids choose to be in orchestra since it’s an extra curricular activity and have been absolutely committed by working really hard,” Hafner said. “With music they get to develop things like time management skills, social kills, and leaderships skills..all while playing beautiful and exciting music together.”
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.

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