Susan Ochi-Onishi

Susan Ochi-Onishi

Conductor, Youth Symphony II

Susan Ochi-Onishi has proudly served as a middle and high school music educator in the Hawaii State Department of Education since 1988. Prior to teaching at Kaimuki Middle School, she has held music teaching positions at Waianae Intermediate School and Moanalua High School.


Mrs. Ochi-Onishi is in her 29th year at Kaimuki Middle School where she instructs the beginning, intermediate, and advanced band students and directs the Kaimuki Middle School Symphonic Winds. During her tenure at Kaimuki, she has worked hard to nurture, build and consolidate the KMS Music Department. She provided opportunities for her colleagues to serve as KMS Department Head while she focused on leading the KMS Symphonic Winds to a higher performance level. As the first middle school band from Hawaii to receive an invitation, KMS Symphonic Winds have proudly represented the State of Hawaii by performing at the 2019 Music for All National Festival. In 2015, KMS Symphonic Winds was the first middle school band from Hawaii to perform at Carnegie Hall, where they received the Gold Award for their high adjudication scores. In addition to performing at the ASBDA Convention and traveling to share their music with others, many of our students continue to participate in the Hawaii Youth Symphony Programs.


Mrs. Ochi-Onishi received her Bachelor’s Degree and PDMUS in Music Education and Oboe Performance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She received her Master’s of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she was an oboe student of Ray Still (CSO) and studied the english horn with Grover Schiltz (CSO). Her past oboe teachers include: Linda Strommen, Jeffrey Rathbun, Thomas Boyd, Margot Golding, and Roy Yanagida. She has performed with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Royal Hawaiian Band, Maui Symphony, Diamond Head Theater, and various music ensembles. She served as the oboe lecturer at the University of Hawaii and continues to serve as the oboe clinician for the Pacific Music Institute. Her professional affiliations include the Oahu Band Directors Association and the American School Band Directors Association. Mrs. Ochi-Onishi is Co-Conductor of the Hawaii Youth Symphony II and is an alumna of the Hawaii Youth Symphony Program where she served as Principal Oboe during her time as a student.