HPR Brings "From the Top" Back to Islands

Oct 18, 2016

NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley, the preeminent showcase for young musicians heard weekly on Hawaiʻi Public Radio comes back to the islands for two live recordings of the hit NPR show, featuring musicians from Hawaiʻi and beyond. This marks From the Top’s fifth visit to Hawaiʻi, having recorded seven shows over the past twelve years on Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi island. This year’s visit will include live concert recordings on November 30, 7:00pm at the William Charles Lunalilo Center on the campus of Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi in Keaʻau, and on December 2, 8:00pm at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu.

BROADCAST DATES on HPR-1, 10 a.m.:

  • Keaʻau show: January 14, 2017
  • Honolulu show: January 28, 2017

“Since our first visit for a show in Honolulu in 2004, we’ve been incredibly impressed by the high quality of music made by outstanding young musicians in Hawai’i,” said From the Top’s Tour Producer David Balsom. “Beyond the fine music-making, we keep coming back because of the remarkable energy and enthusiasm for music, music education, and the welcoming spirit of community we encounter on every visit, led by our fantastic partners at Hawai’i Public Radio.”

Speaking on behalf of Hawaiʻi Public Radio, José A. Fajardo, its president and general manager, said "We're honored to once again host From the Top for our island community. This winter's tapings will kick off the celebration of the station's 35th anniversary and we can't think of a better way to represent HPR: great music, inspiring stories, education, and social good."

The concert at the Lunalilo Center on November 30 will feature young singers from the Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Hōʻike A Haʻi, performing an excerpt from their original Hawaiian language opera entitled “Hā‘upu” that they recently performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. There will also be performances by local musicians 12-year-old Jairus Rhoades from Mililani (the second prizewinner of the 2016 Aloha Piano Competition) and 17-year-old cellist William Suh from Honolulu (winner of the 2016 Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition). Additionally, a 17-year-old violinist from Morgantown, Indiana, Maria Sanderson (the 2016 Junior Division Sphinx Competition winner) will perform. THE KEAʻAU SHOW WILL AIR ON HPR-1 AT 10 A.M. ON JANUARY 14, 2017.

Hawaii Youth Symphony with conductor Henry Miyamura
Credit Natalie Nakasone

On December 2 in Honolulu at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, the concert will feature performances by the Hawaii Youth Symphony, conducted by Henry Miyamura.  Also on stage at the Blaisdell will be the 4U Ukulele Quartet, (Ryan Nakagawa, 15; Taiga Benito, 18; Given Yagi, 18; and Chance Yagi, 16) an award-winning ʻukulele ensemble from Honolulu. The 2016 Junior Menuhin Competition winner 12-year-old violinist Yesong Sophie Lee from Seattle, Washington will take the stage, as well as 15-year-old clarinetist Javier Morales-Martinez from Los Angeles, California and 13-year-old cellist Kevin Song from Irvine, California. THE HONOLULU SHOW WILL AIR ON HPR-1 AT 10 A.M. ON JANUARY 28, 2017.

The 2016 Hawaiʻi tour of From the Top is made possible through the generous support of The Sidney E. Frank Foundation, Hawaii Youth Symphony, First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra, Grand Naniloa Hotel, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, and Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra.

4U Ukulele Quartet, one of the featured musical groups performing in From the Topʻs Honolulu taping

About From the Top
The program is America’s premier national platform celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians. Operating from Boston’s vibrant music district, From the Top produces nationwide media programs (like NPR’s From the Top Live with Christopher O’Riley), presents inspiring live performances in Boston and around the country, offers scholarships, and helps America’s talented, hard-working, and dedicated young musicians inspire music lovers of all ages.

Broadcast on over 220 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly 700,000 listeners, NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley has been described by the Boston Globe as, "an entertaining, accessible, and inspirational mix of outstanding musical performances, informal interviews, skits, and games, the show is a celebration of extraordinary musicians who happen to be teenagers leading fairly normal lives." From the Top’s PBS television series From the Top at Carnegie Hall (2007–2009) won two daytime Emmy awards, and From the Top’s YouTube channel offers videos and behind-the-scenes insights.

Now in its 15th year, From the Top's live recordings reach more than 20,000 live audience members of all ages across the United States each year. In conjunction with its national tour, From the Top’s Education & Outreach department offers leadership training to young artists and conducts classroom and community programs leveraging the power of its performers as role models for younger students.

From the Top's radio program is made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and corporate underwriting from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. It is also supported through the generous contributions of individuals and institutions as well as public radio stations.  From the Top’s founding partners are New England Conservatory and WGBH. Learn more at www.fromthetop.org.

Read original press release.