Sunday, November 29, 2015

Strike Up The Band!

Royal Hawaii Band Shell in Kapiolani Park.
 Everyone loves listening to a band!  Remember sitting out on the grass in a park while listening to the live music of the town band.  Remember standing at the side of the street watching the parade with all the bands?

When I visit Hawaii, I always check to see if the Royal Hawaiian Band is playing anywhere other than the bandstand and Iolani Palace. The band is unique in that they've been around since 1836.  Can you imagine that? In the beginning, they were known as the King's Band because they were founded by King Kamehameha III and they accompanied him on his trips to the other islands.

Image, a band that has been making music for over 175 years.  They are unique in that they they are funded by the city and county of Honolulu and are the only full time municipal band in the country.

They have their own bandstand in Kapiolani Park yet they play in parades, over at Ala Moana Shopping Center, at Iolani Palace or where ever needed.  They perform over 300 concerts a year.
Of course, their specialty is Hawaiian music and local pieces are sprinkled among regular pieces normally played at a band concert.

The pond behind the band shell.
I have family members who saw the band play back in 1938 when most people traveled to and from Hawaii by ship.  The conductor mentioned that the band would play at the dock for boats arriving and departing because one of the pieces played celebrated of that.  In addition, that night there were two ladies who both sang and danced.

Once the concert was over, it was possible to meet and talk to the singers and musicians.  It was awesome.   Their bandstand was recently renovated so during that time, they couldn't play in the park.  If you look carefully, you can see there is a beautiful pond on the backside of the bandstand.  Last time I went through, there were lots of birds swimming and enjoying themselves in the pond. 

 If you are ever over in Honolulu, check their website to see where they are due to play, hop a bus, and go listen.  They are awesome and unique.  Even their band uniforms are traditional Hawaiian.

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