skip to Main Content
10 yr old koa planted in a former pasture under scattered ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees in windward Mauna Kea on Hawaiʻi Island. Photo: J.B. Friday

The Symphony of the Hawai‘i Forests will be a performing arts project that will foster the breadth of Hawai`i’s artistic genres, media, and practitioners, while maximizing public access and exposure to a quality arts experience.

The project is a collaboration among three University of Hawai’i at Mānoa colleges – Arts, Languages, & Letters; Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR); Education and four community partners – Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra, DLNR DOFAW, Halau Ohia, and HFI. DOFAW and the UH Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management within CTAHR will organize the forest education and outreach components.

The Symphony of the Hawai‘i Forests will be modeled after Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds, a collaboration of UH and Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra. It will present and support literacy arts through storytelling; visual and media arts through the animations and art contest; and performing arts through the music, hula and storytelling. The program will be offered to students through the school concerts and to the general public through the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra’s keiki concert series.

It will provide opportunities for the public to experience and appreciate a wide variety of professional artistic and cultural activities. A specific focus of the project will be to deepen engagement and participation in culture and the arts among under-served communities, including Native Hawaiians. Hālau ‘Ō hia’s involvement will help make the content more relevant to Native Hawaiians.

Mālama Learning Center’s teacher’s PDE³ course, (accredited college or university course) was completed by a mix of Oʻahu and Molokaʻi teachers; 33 teachers from 25 schools.  Participating schools:  Campbell High, Molokai High, McKinley High, Molokai Kaunakakai Elementary, Pearl City Highlands Intermediate, Honouliuli Middle School, Kilohana Elementary, Waianae Elementary, Kailua High, Waianae High, Waialua High & Intermediate, Kapolei Middle School, Kailua Intermediate, Wheeler Middle School, Kualapuu Elementary, Wheeler Elementary, School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS) Charter School, Moanalua High, Hawaiʻi Tech Academy, Makaha Elementary, University Laboratory School Public Charter School, Inouye Elementary, Farrington High, and Waiau Elementary.

HFI received a $15,000 grant from the State Foundation on Cultural and the Arts and a $8,000 grant from the US Forest Service/Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry & Wildlife ( DOFAW) Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program.  An award from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority through the Aloha ‘Āina Program, administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation for the Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest help fund Symphony of the Hawaii Forests educational materials for students and teachers.

Project partners Heather McMillen and Takuma Itoh presented at the Hawaii Conservation Conference.  Website: Symphony of the Hawai’i Forests.

Link to Symphony of the Hawaii Forests Animation/Music Composition-Draft.
Symphony of the Hawai‘i Forests Teacher Resources
Go Native Postcards
Trees PDE3 Teacher Credit Courses Videos

Back To Top