Students from Hakuoh University’s Handbell Choir made their 27th goodwill visit to Hawai‘i to share their music. The choir was founded 30 years ago, in 1988, by Professor Hirotaka Arai, who continues to direct the choir. The choir has the capacity to ring seven octaves of handbells and has a wide-ranging repertoire of music.
Hakuoh University board chair and vice president Joji Kamioka hosted a friendship luncheon at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i’s Manoa Grand Ballroom on March 7. The choir presented a preview of their Hawai‘i performances, which included the Honolulu Festival and Ala Moana Center.
One of their signature tunes is the popular Japanese folk song, “Sakura.” Professor Arai sang along with the choir. Other numbers performed included Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s “Moana” movie; a medley of Glenn Miller classics; “Jonetsu Tairiku by Taro Hakase; Gustav Theodore Holst’s classical piece, “Jupiter,” and a beautiful Hakuoh Handbell rendition of “Hawai‘i Aloha.” The guests were also treated to special performance by Japan’s ”Elvis Presley” — Toki Toyokazu.
Hakuoh University is a private co-educational college located in Tochigi Prefecture. Retired University of Hawai‘i vice president for community colleges Dr. Joyce Tsunoda previously taught at Hakuoh and strengthened the college’s ties to UH.