Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds continued to wow audience members as it was performed by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Wind Ensemble at Kaua‘i Community College. This was the first time the symphony was performed on the island of Kaua‘i, home to many of the native birds highlighted in the production. Many of the audience members were moved to tears by the realization of all that has been lost and is at risk. The performance, which arose from a project spearheaded by NREM’s Melissa Price, brings together music, art, and science to raise awareness of endangered native bird populations.
At the Kaua‘i performance, audience members got additional information about conservation measures and the challenges that native birds and plants on Kaua‘i face from booths set up by the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project, Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee, Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Friends of Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges, and Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture. There was also a tissue-paper replica of King Kaumali‘i’s ‘ahu‘ula (feather capes) created by 5th graders at ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School on display and a silent auction that raised over $8,000 for conservation. Over 1,000 Kaua‘i students from grades 4–12 attended two additional performances of Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds, and artwork created by students was displayed during the concerts.
Since its beginnings with the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra in 2018, the Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds has been performed for over 30,000 listeners in several locations. It was recently performed by the Utah Symphony in Salt Lake, and a Pacific Northwest performance by the UH Wind Ensemble is scheduled for later this year.
Special thanks go to University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Wind Ensemble, the KCC Wind Symphony at the KCC Performing Arts Center, the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project, and Garden Island Resource Conservation and Development Inc. for collaborating to make this event possible. The Kaua‘i Community College, Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development, and Corteva AgriSciences also co-sponsored the event and helped to make it possible.