The Punahou Music Department presents the Concerto Showcase 2022 on Friday, Feb. 25, featuring five extraordinary soloists from the Class of 2022. The concert will include the music of Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Davidov, Lalo and Brahms, as well as special video vignettes with the young artists. The Class of 2022 soloists are Bao Nguyen, violin; Christian Yamada, cello; Christine Dong, piano; Ellie Ochiai, violin; and Jairus Rhoades, piano.
The Punahou Concerto Concert: Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence
The concept of the Punahou Concerto Concert was created by Priscilla Smith, Professor Emerita of Music Education at Oberlin College, who served as interim Director of Orchestras at Punahou for the 1991 – 1992 school year. Recognizing an abundance of Symphony Orchestra students deeply dedicated to the study of their orchestral instruments, Smith felt that there should be an opportunity to present students as soloists in a concerto concert setting, accompanied by the combined students of the Punahou Symphony Orchestra and Punahou Wind Ensemble performing as a full orchestral ensemble.
Senior student soloists are traditionally selected by a live audition. However, for the past two years due to the pandemic, auditions have been held virtually via performance video submissions, which were adjudicated by a committee of professional musicians and music educators. Another pivot was made as the pandemic also impacted the ability to have an orchestral accompaniment, hence the use of piano accompaniment for this performance. Some past soloists continued their involvement in music while pursuing other fields of study and work, and some went on to become professional musicians such as Grammy Award-winning bassist, Shawn Conley ’01 and Laura Jean Keller ’06, a violinist with the San Francisco Ballet.
The Concerto Concert has become an annual tradition carried forth by the Punahou Symphony Orchestra since 1992, but what remains unchanged through all the years is the gratitude and appreciation we have for the incredible commitment of the students, their families and their teachers. Thank you for helping us acknowledge and celebrate their collective dedication to music making of the highest standards, as well as the individual talents and unique musical journeys of each of the soloists.