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HYS Presents ‘The Combo Winter Showcase’

December 6, 2018, 11:37 AM HST (Updated December 6, 2018, 11:37 AM)
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Hawai‘i Youth Symphony (HYS) and students from the organization’s newest program, The Combo Program, will be grooving to the beat of their own music at The Combo Winter Showcase concert on Wednesday, Dec.19, 2018, at Studio 909.

Shari Lynn. PC: Hawai‘i Youth Symphony

“It has been an exciting year for us at HYS as the launch of The Combo Program closely aligns with our organization’s mission to broaden avenues for students to experience music and we’re delighted to introduce them to additional genres outside of classical music,” said Randy Wong, president of Hawai‘i Youth Symphony. “At HYS, our vision is to not only make music accessible to all young people, but to provide them with guidance and the skills needed to become better musicians and well-rounded individuals.”

The Combo Program first opened its doors earlier this summer to intermediate and advanced music students playing jazz and rhythm instruments (i.e. guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, piano, sax and trumpet). Students grades 8–12 wishing to explore other genres beyond classical music such as popular, commercial and jazz music styles were welcome to audition without any prior jazz or improvisational music experience. Under the direction of Dean Taba, Program Director of The Combo, the students’ upcoming winter showcase will feature performances of jazz and popular music pieces such as Lionel Hampton’s Midnight Sun, and holiday favorites like Merry Christmas Darling and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

“Our students have made great progress this year and they are thrilled to share their passion for music with friends, family and audiences at The Combo Winter Showcase,” said Dean Taba, program director of The Combo. “From neighborhood garage bands to high school music rooms, it gives me great joy to see such an eclectic group of students grow together as they learn to expand their musical capabilities.”

Opportunities for The Combo students include gaining experience in an orchestral pops setting, performing with popular vocalists and musicians and mentorship from influential musicians and industry professionals for those interested in pursuing a career in the music business. At The Combo Winter Showcase, students will be accompanying renowned jazz vocalist, Shari Lynn, as she sings songs of the Great American Songbook.

“As music educators, we recognize the significance of providing students a chance to collaborate with extraordinary artists such as Shari Lynn and the powerful impact these opportunities have on a young person’s perspective and appreciation for music and the arts,” said Dr. John Devlin, music director of Hawai‘i Youth Symphony.

The Combo Winter Showcase will begin at 7 p.m. at Studio 909, located within the Musicians Association of Hawai‘i. Admission for the showcase is open and free for the general public.

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A 10-time Poʻokela Award-winning actress and Nā Hōku Hanohano Award nominee, Lynn is one of Hawai‘i’s leading champions of the Great American Songbook and has made her mark as a singer, actress, writer, producer and educator. She often appears at Medici’s in Mānoa and Blue Note Hawai‘i.

For more information on The Combo Program and Hawaii Youth Symphony, go online.

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