By Sonia Isotov
The public is invited to join the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College (UHMC) for a big celebration August 26 as it officially launches as a four-year college, begins offering four-year degrees, and the opens the new Institute of Hawaiian Music.
The “Launch Celebration”, as it is being called, will be held on Friday, August 26th, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Kahului Campus. Admission is free.
The public is invited to bring blankets and chairs and enjoy a free concert put together by grammy-award winner and the Director of the new Institute of Hawaiian Music, George Kahumoku. A star-studded program of Hawaiian musicians will perform on the Great Lawn of the campus.
Musical guests include Sterling Seaton, a UHMC student who has participated in three Grammy award-winning CDs, Gabe Goebbert, an 18-year old graduate of Maui High School, and four-time winner of the Hula Grill Ukulele Contest, Kaulike Pescaia, an 11-year old ukulele and falsetto sensation from Kamehameha Schools Maui and the overall winner of the 2010 Hula Grill Ukulele Contest.
Joining them will be four-time Grammy winners Ukulele Boyz and the 2011 Na Hoku Award winners for Hawaiian Jazz, the Hula Honeys. Long-time favorites Pekelo Cosma, the 1984 Na Hoku Hanohano winner for song Koali, Leiʻohu Ryder, female vocalist of the year Hawaiʻi Music Awards, and Richard Hoʻopiʻi, the 1992 National Endowment of the Arts Folk Treasure and winner of the RH Falsetto Contest on Maui for 11 years, are also featured.
They will be followed by Miss Aloha Hula 2011, Tori Hulali Canha, and Zenshin Daiko, a Maui-based taiko group that has performed hundreds of cultural and community events from Maui to Japan and the mainland.
In addition to the music, the college’s award-winning Culinary Arts Academy will provide concessions, and the campus will be open for tours. The academic programs and student services will have information booths, and there will even be a new Nissan Leaf on display, a loan from Jim Falk Motors of Maui, to publicize the collegeʻs upcoming electric vehicle project. Children will enjoy face painting and clowns.
At 6:15 p.m., there will be a short program thanking Senator Daniel K. Inouye and other college supporters for their role in helping to develop the campus. After the program, the Hard Rock Café is providing live music by Super Dub, a Maui-based roots, rock, and reggae band. Guests may also be interested in the silent auction, sponsored by the Hard Rock Café and Soroptomist International of Maui, to raise funds for student scholarships.
Earlier in the day, the college is hosting a blessing of the new Kaiao Student Success Center. The 2,000-square foot Center was built with the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and will be open for Native Hawaiian and other students to assist in their educational success.
For more information about the Launch Celebration, see http://maui.hawaii.edu/events.