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$200,000 Donation Will Grow Hawaiian Music Industry

Posted November 16, 2011, 12:03 PM HST Updated November 17, 2011, 03:43 PM HST
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George Kahumoku, flanked by his students, receiving a Grammy Award. Photo courtesy of George Kahumoku.

By Sonia Isotov

The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation has awarded the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Institute of Hawaiian Music (IHM) a grant in the amount of $200,000.

Recently, the IHM received US Department of Labor funds to establish a recording studio and hired Grammy Award Winner George Kahumoku to serve as the first IHM director. The funds received from the HKL Castle Foundation will go toward further studio renovations and audio equipment.

George Kahumoku performing live. Photo courtesy of George Kahumoku.

“The first group of students for the Institute of Hawaiian Music will be admitted this spring 2012, and we’re currently accepting registrations for the fall 2012 cohort. We’re thrilled and deeply grateful for the Castle Foundation’s support of budding Hawaiian musicians who’ll be mentored by professionals,” said Clyde Sakamoto, UH Maui College Chancellor, in a written statement.

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“Traditionally you can only get this kind of mentorship if you’re born into a Hawaiian music family,” said program director George Kahumoku, in a written statement.  “With the help of this grant, students participating in the Institute of Hawaiian Music will be mentored by Hawaiian music masters, take classes in Hawaiian culture and language, and professionally record their music for release.  This will help launch their own careers as musicians or music technicians.”

With this grant, the HKL Castle Foundation will be helping to create new jobs in marketing and sales, audio engineering, and performance of Hawaiian music as well as strengthening and preserving the Hawaiian culture and music scene. This special gift honors HKL Castle’s grandson, John Baldwin and his love of Hawaiian music.

“We’re honored to have the chance to honor Johnny Baldwin in this way and to help the Institute of Hawaiian Music to grow and thrive, “said Terry George, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, “and we invite other prospective donors to join us in this effort to help Maui’s talented musicians by matching our challenge grant.”

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