Maui News

Emma Veary Music Scholarship Established at UHMC

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Emma Veary. Courtesy photo.

Emma Veary. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

A new scholarship has been established at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, named in honor of musician Emma Veary.

The $1,000 scholarships are for students who have demonstrated excellence and potential in music, with a first round of awards to be issued in fall of 2014, the university announced.


Veary was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and also received the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

Nā Hōkū award winner Robyn Kneubuhl of the Hula Honey's joins her mom and living legend, Aunty Emma Veary in Kanikapila with Poki hosted by Pacific Media Group's Braddah Poki.  File photo 2010 by Wendy Osher.

File photo 2010 by Wendy Osher. Pictured are Nā Hōkū award winner Robyn Kneubuhl of the Hula Honey’s and her mom and fellow entertainer Emma Veary at the Kanikapila with Poki event hosted by the late Braddah Allen “Braddah Poki” Pokipala of  Pacific Media Group.

She began performing at the age of five, studied opera in New York, and as an adult entertained audiences at the Monarch Room at the Royal Hawaiian and Halekūlani hotel on Oʻahu, where she became known as the “Golden Voice of Hawaiʻi.”

Although she is retired now and living on Maui, she will on occasion sing with her daughter Robyn Kneubuhl of the Hula Honey’s who is also a songwriter, jazz singer and composer.


The scholarship was established by Dr. Laurel Lee Roberts who recalled watching Veary perform nearly 40 years ago on the beach outside of the Halekūlani in Waikiki.

Emma Veary LP. Courtesy image.

Emma Veary LP. Courtesy image.

Roberts, who was a college student at the time recalled, “Ms. Veary would tell her paying audience that the next song was for ‘friends on the shelf’ or for her ‘scholarship friends.’  She would then turn and sing to her fans on the beach who could not afford to buy a ticket to a Waikiki concert,” said Dr. Roberts in a university press release announcing the scholarship.

“I wanted to show my deepest appreciation to Ms. Veary for my fond memories through this named scholarship, and give opportunities to Maui youth to create even more beautiful music for future generations,” said Dr. Roberts who is now an attorney in Southern California.

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