He Makana O Nā Mele 2023


“We envision a Hawai’i where music is a right.”

Our vision statement is an aspiration, one that illustrates an ideal future. It answers the question: What would Hawai’i look like if Hawaii Youth Symphony reaches all our goals?

For us, it looks like a Hawai’i where every child can access, learn, and grow through the opportunity to make music. A Hawai’i where all keiki can receive high quality music education throughout their childhood if they desire it.


Amy Hānaialiʻi


Amy Hānaiali‘i’s success as a recording artist speaks for itself and is evidenced by a multitude of awards and acknowledgments, including 6 GRAMMY® nominations and 18 Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards Hawai‘i’s equivalent to the GRAMMY® awards.

Hānaiali‘i’s talent emerges from a disciplined classical training, fused powerhouse vocals, and honoring her family’s worldly heritage and rooted ancestral responsibility.

Amy has played for the Dalai Lama, two inaugural balls in D.C. for President Obama and the first entertainer ever to perform in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, China. Amy has played for sold-out crowds in Europe, Japan and all across America and French Polynesia. Hānaiali’i‘s Friends and Family album showcased a stunning duet with country music legend Willie Nelson. Alongside and recording with the best, Amy also has performed live and opened for renowned artists like Earth, Wind and Fire, Carlos Santana, Boz Scaggs, Diana Krall, Joe Cocker and many more – her upcoming release features a duet with Michael McDonald.

She has played to sold-out shows at the following world-renowned venues: Blue Note Jazz Club New York and Japan, Feinstienʻs, Stern Grove, The Cutting Room, and numerous performances with Orchestras in Opera Houses worldwide.

Her diverse success and cultural responsibility, provide clear recognition by Hawai‘i’s music community and fans with universal acceptance. All of Amy’s albums have validated commercial success by consistently placing her at the top of the World Album Billboard charts.


The Strings of Youth Symphony I

Composed of over 80 high school students from more than a dozen schools, Youth Symphony I is HYS’ most advanced orchestra, and among the finest youth orchestras in the country. For Nā Mele 2023, we are thrilled to welcome the YS I string section (violins, violas, cellos, and basses), for this special event. Maestro Joe Stepec, HYS Director of Orchestral Activities and conductor of YS I, will lead this magnificent group.

We regret that we are unable to fit the entire orchestra due to space limitations.

HYS Jazz

Drawing from diverse musical influences, Jazz 1 (formerly known as the Advanced Contemporary Ensemble) provides unique, improvisation-based experiences for students who wish to discover the worlds of popular and improvised genres. Jazz 1 is led by Honolulu-based jazz musician and HYS alumnus, Dean Taba.

intermediate super strings

Concert String Orchestra

Our most advanced string orchestra, for students ages 8 & up. They are led by our alumnus, conductor Michael Lim.

Mahalo to:


Thomas & Mi Kosasa

Halekulani Corporation



Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra

Gloria & Stephen Gainsley

Lauren Yoo

Vibe Creative Marketing


Action Realty Corporation

Ben & Vicky Cayetano, and Ginny Tiu

First Hawaiian Bank Foundation

Lorrin Hirano/Gladys Hirano

Kent & Jean Tsukamoto

Waikiki Shopping Plaza


Foundation for an Engaged Pacific

The FundDevelopment Group

Martin Hsia, Esq.

David Imanaka & Family

Island Insurance

Steven & Marilyn Katzman

Bruce & Mana Okimoto/T.Oki Trading

The Resort Group

Trinity Real Estate Investments

Randy Wong & Family

2023 Event Co-Chairs

Richard Ing

Lauren Yoo

Additional Mahalos

Event Publicity: 

Becker Communications, Inc.

Event Social Media:

Vibe Creative Marketing

Orchestral Arrangements:

Michael-Thomas Foumai

Program Booklet Design:

Mark Nakamura