By Scott Osborn ’94
Over the course of two days, violinist Nick Kendall, double-bassist Ranaan Meyer and violinist Charles Yang — all members of the critically acclaimed trio, Time for Three — intersected with Punahou students, faculty and staff with virtuosic musical performances and critical insight into the creative process and its role in education.
The two-day residency, sponsored by Professional Programs at Punahou, mixed workshops for students and faculty with performances throughout campus.
“It was an incredible opportunity to examine creativity, innovation and entrepreneurism,” said Helen Chao-Casano, director of Punahou’s Co-Curricular Performing Arts programs and director of the Music School. “Any time our students are able to be in the same room, breathe the same air, interact, talk, play and explore with artists, thinkers and creators of this level, it is a gift and a memorable learning experience.”
A common theme during the trio’s residency at Punahou was how they were able to make a career out of their love for music and the amount of work it took for them to get where they are today.
“When you want to be great, it takes so much work and dedication,” said Kendall. “I hated practice when I was younger, but I am grateful that I put in the work as it has allowed me to pursue a life that I love.”
While addressing the Academy Orchestra students in Montague Hall, Meyer noted, “We couldn’t imagine not being musicians. We feel if you can have that kind of passion in whatever you do, then life is so much more powerful.”
Self-described as a “classically-trained garage band,” Time for Three has developed a reputation for combining elements of classical, country, gypsy and jazz music. Their diverse musical tastes were on full display during their visit, which included performances of music from the Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” a mashup of works by Gustav Mahler and Guns N’ Roses, “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles and “Toxic” by Britney Spears.
The trio also incorporates improvisation in their music, which students from the Advanced Jazz Dance class got a taste of when they joined Time for Three onstage for a music and movement makery. The workshop was designed to explore the synergy between improvised choreography and music, and the experience left a strong impression on the students.
“It’s really scary at first,” said Kaitlin Hennessey ’18. “You think it’s going to make you very vulnerable, but something really amazing can come out of it.”
Students in the Music School’s Let’s Jam: Improv for Strings class, taught by Duane Padilla, had a similar experience when they were invited to join Time for Three onstage to perform Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” – complete with improvised solos.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” said Padilla. “People don’t understand that when you improvise you are really putting yourself out there. It takes a lot of bravery to do what they did.”
Time for Three’s visit to Punahou sparked several conversations about the future of music education at Punahou, including an hour-long meeting between the visiting musicians and music faculty.
By the time their two-day residency concluded, the trio had headlined 10 unique events and engaged with more than 2,000 members of the Punahou ?ohana. The group’s passion for music was evident and their energetic performances invigorated audiences all over campus.