The University of Hawai`i Maui College’s award-winning Institute of Hawaiian Music program will hold auditions for Fall semester prospective students on Saturday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the campus Ka‘a‘ike Building, Room 105CD.

Call for auditions

Those auditioning are expected to carry themselves in a professional manner and perform for six minutes, introduce themselves and their songs, sing and play their instruments. Reservations are required for the auditions, which can be made by emailing or by calling (808) 984-3570. Private auditions may also be arranged for those unable to attend.

An informational session for prospective students, parents and other interested parties will be held on Friday, March 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Ka‘a‘ike Building, Room 109.

The Institute of Hawaiian Music (IHM) is a one-of-a-kind musical mentorship program dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music. Formal university classes are supplemented with direct mentorship sessions led by professional Hawaiian musicians. Students selected for the IHM program will receive exclusive opportunities to receive personal training, guidance, and knowledge through these mentor-mentee relationships with performers, composers and other industry professionals.

Visiting mentors have included Keali‘i Reichel, Kenneth Makuakāne, Mailani Makainai, Keola Beamer, Kainani Kahaunaele, Aaron Salā, Raiatea Helm, Jake Shimabukuro, Barry Flanagan, Mark Yamanaka, and former IHM director and Grammy Award-winning slack key guitarist George Kahumoku, Jr.

The staff and students of the Institute of Hawaiian Music have produced three compilation CDs, “Pukana” in 2013, “Aloha ‘Ia Nō ‘O Maui” in 2015, and “Aia I Laila Ka Wai” in 2017. “Aloha ‘Ia Nō ‘O Maui” was selected as “Best Compilation Album” at the 2016 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and “Aia I Laila Ka Wai” is a contender for this years’ EP (extended play) award. Students graduating this semester are preparing their own recording for release later this year.

IHM album cover

“Aspiring musicians are often left to their own devices to locate willing mentors and performance partners, receive personal training, find gigs, gain performance experience, produce a recording, and learn the steps necessary to break into the industry,” said IHM Faculty Coordinator Dr. Keola Donaghy. “Because of this challenge, many don’t reach their true potential.”

IHM performances

Donaghy said the program is not just for those who want to be professional musicians, but is open to anyone who wants to learn more about Hawaiian music and improve their performance skills.

IHM offers classes in guitar, ukulele, singing, keyboard, composition, music theory, repertoire development, dance, music industry business and marketing, and recording. Students will be given training on their instruments, voice, and harmony. They will be directed in repertoire growth, stage presence, and recording techniques. Students will also complete courses in Hawaiian studies and Hawaiian language to understand the cultural roots of their art.

Students who successfully complete the two-year program will receive an Academic Subject Certificate (ASC) in Hawaiian Music. Scholarships and financial aid are available to eligible students in the program.

For more information about the Institute of Hawaiian Music, please visit our website at

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