MHS celebrates its third annual concert showcase on Jan. 25. The Marching Arts and Select Choir gave the younger students a chance to see what MHS’ music program has to offer.
“The goal is just to expose the students to music. Whether it’s music that we offer here at the high school or it’s just music in general—just to get the exposure of them and in a non-threatening way,” said Musical Director Kristi Higuchi.
Higuchi founded the event, developing it into the concert that it is now. “Basically, I came up with the idea and then initially asked the other principals from the feeder schools if they’re interested—asked their teachers. So it’s a pretty collaborative effort where I give them the opportunity and if they would like to join us then they can,” said Higuchi.
The high school students were able to share their passion for performing with those in attendance. “The performers feed off of what’s coming from the audience, and back and forth. So I think there becomes a very good relationship that starts to be formed,” said Higuchi.
Different types of performances were showcased in order to appeal to a wide variety of interests. “The most exciting part was like the last one because I could feel the beat of the drums,” said Ike Elementary third grader Brayden Fabro.
The students’ contribution plays a significant role in the event. “Students usually have one main priority in these types of events, which is having our music playable to the best of our ability. Some students may also help with planning and setting up the events, but most will just play music,” said Winterline Percussionist Junior Aiden Martin.
With this showcase, students are able to see the opportunities that are available to them down the line. “I just think it’s important because a lot of these kids don’t see our groups. You think that they’re in the community so they see it but they don’t so it’s all about exposure and exposing the younger students to what we have here available to them,” said Higuchi.
The showcase exposed the participating students to possible paths they can take in high school. “Watching all the performances will allow the kids to see what they are interested in, you can tie this into choosing electives,” said Martin.
Always hoping to improve, the music department asks the schools for feedback on the performance. “I send out evaluations after it and it’s been very positive,” said Higuchi. “They’re very thankful that they get to watch all the groups. They like to see all the different instruments.”
Each year sees the audience grow; last year was the first time Waena participated. “We’re adding to it and just getting more and more kids exposed to it, but trying to make changes along the way for the better,” said Higuchi.
The showcase has influenced some of the students, as some of them showed interest in joining one of the performing groups. “It’s a hard decision because all of them are great. Maybe choir,” said Ike Elementary third grader Sadie Hamamoto.
The annual Mililani Concert Showcase will continue to promote a passion for music in years to come, through the interaction between the participating schools.