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UH Community Colleges present Hakuoh University Handbell Choir

Internationally-recognized handbell choir to perform in free, public concerts

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Feb 12, 2014

Hakuoh University Handbell Choir from 2013 visit.
Hakuoh University Handbell Choir from 2013 visit.

HONOLULU – Celebrating its 26th anniversary, the internationally-recognized Hakuoh University Handbell Choir will be on O‘ahu from February 13-18 for its 23rd Goodwill Tour of Hawai‘i, offering three public concerts and performing for friends of Hakuoh University and more than 500 O‘ahu school children.  

Led by acclaimed director Hirotaka Arai, who founded the choir in 1988, the 12-student handbell choir will perform free, public concerts on:

February 13, at 7 p.m. at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St., Honolulu

February 14, at 10 a.m. at Leeward Community College Theatre, 96-045 Ala ‘Ike, Pearl City

February 18, at 7 p.m. at Windward Community College’s Palikū Theatre, 45-720 Kea‘ahala Rd., Kāne‘ohe.

The choir will perform a range of selections from classical standards including Mozart’s “Turkish March” to contemporary hits from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” as well as a Hawaiian favorite “Hawai‘i Aloha.”  The choir has the capacity to ring seven octaves of handbells, and their dedication to practice and performance has created worldwide demand for their music.

The Goodwill Tour of Hawai‘i includes a performance for friends of Hakuoh University at a Friendship Luncheon at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i’s Mānoa Grand Ballroom.  In addition, they have scheduled free concerts for students on Friday, February 14, at Leeward Community College and on Tuesday, February 18 at Windward Community College.

From their home in Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, Hakuoh’s ensemble has traveled to performances in Canada, England, and Australia and has entertained audiences including the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the King and Queen of Belgium.  They have performed at Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland and have plans to participate in the August 2014 International Handbell Symposium in Jeju, South Korea.

In September 2013, Hakuoh University renewed an international cooperative agreement with the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges. The annual Handbell Choir concerts, co-sponsored by Hakuoh University and the UH Community Colleges, are one of the cooperative activities undertaken by the two institutions.

For more information about the choir’s performances, call (808) 956-0321.