Hawaii Youth Symphony

A New Strategic Plan: Working Towards A Future Full of Music

When we look into our crystal ball, we see a future full of music. Our local community is thriving, and all keiki have the right to find their passion through music. For one child, joy is a violin. Using a loaned instrument with beginning instruction, they grow into a virtuosic symphonic musician who studies violin performance and returns to Hawai‘i as an adult to play in the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra. For another child, happiness is playing the ‘ukulele. Jamming with friends and family is a cornerstone of their life; what started as a hobby in a Boys & Girls Clubhouse has turned into a lifelong passion. And for one keiki, jazz is life. Learning the ins and outs of improvisation and blues scales on the saxophone taught them the life skills required to succeed in their career, and their love for music extends far beyond the music room. 

At Hawaii Youth Symphony, this is the future we believe in. And while we don’t actually have a crystal ball to predict this vision into reality, we can certainly do our best to work towards it. “All youth can cultivate personal excellence through music,” says our President & CEO, Randy Wong. “Through our new strategic plan, we are excited to share the goals we’ve set to get one step closer to a Hawai‘i where music is a right. Music is a social good, and I aspire to build a Hawaiʻi in which any interested child can develop and achieve their individual best.”

Our Strategic Planning Process

Looking to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with focus and direction, we found it an important time to learn from and engage with our stakeholders while building on the strengths of our last strategic plan. 

To help guide our discussion, we first gathered feedback from over 60 stakeholders (in over a dozen online and in-person meetings!), including staff and faculty, board members, students, parents, and community partners, in order to assess our progress. “We are so grateful to have participation from so many of our stakeholders,” says Board Chair, Erica Mau-Schank. “Each point of view is unique, but they all share a passion for HYS. It’s so inspiring!”

Following this, we facilitated two planning sessions in which collaboration and communication were key. We engaged our board members, faculty, and staff and ignited their passion for music and education as we built off each other’s ideas and made a commitment to our goals. We looked at…

  • Our mission statement, to explain why HYS exists and our overall objectives
  • Our vision, to express how we want to change our community for the better
  • Our core values, to help shape the way we do our work

And we created this strategic plan to provide a strong sense of purpose and guide our movement forward. 

With our new strategic plan in place, the work has just begun. Amongst many committees, board members, faculty, and staff, we must maintain our momentum to ensure we continue to achieve our goals. 

Hawaii Youth Symphony’s Strategic Plan 2023 - 2028


Foster fun and creative experiences for youth that inspire a deep appreciation for music and lifelong relationships within the culture of our islands. 


Music is a right.

Core Values

  • Inspire: We connect and uplift our communities through music.
  • Have Fun: We celebrate creativity, curiosity, and the joy that comes with making music.
  • Dream Courageously: We dream and act with authenticity. Be bold!
  • Grow Together: We play, listen, and learn with kindness and respect. 

Strategic Goals

To get us closer to achieving our long-term goals and making this difference, we prioritized initiatives in 6 key areas: access, branding, finance, Pacific Music Institute, partnerships, and training. 


We strive to provide access to music for a diverse community regardless of who you are, where you live, or your musical interests.


Our brand is known for musical excellence in Hawai‘i.


HYS has a financial strategy that focuses on diverse funding sources including major gifts, alumni, and legacy. 

Pacific Music Institute

PMI is the central, sustainable hub for diverse, quality music education in the Pacific Rim.


HYS collaborates with strategic partners and stakeholders to improve the reach and quality of our music education. 


Our staff attains and maintains a high level of proficiency. 

These priorities were created considering the feedback and ideas from our stakeholders, as well as other evaluating factors. We are committed to and excited for the next five years as we inch our way closer to a Hawai‘i where music is a right!

Looking Ahead

Leonard Bernstein is quoted to have said: “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” 

For us, this rings true, because our vision is ambitious. “Music is a right” means something different to everyone, and that’s one of the reasons why we love it. With a vision as aspirational as ours, there is never quite enough time to do it all. But with an incredible team and a supportive community, we are excited to implement this strategic plan and get one step closer. 

Do our mission and vision inspire you? Learn about how your keiki can participate in or how you can support the Hawaii Youth Symphony. 

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