Blake M. Nuibe
Imagine a group of boys ages 7 to 12 standing perfectly still on stage for about 45 minutes.
As quixotic as it may seem, this is no hypothetical situation.
For 28 boys who comprise Honolulu Boy Choir, it’s just business as usual.
In 1974, Roy and Nyle Hallman founded Honolulu Boy Choir at Central Union Church, inspired by Vienna Boys’ Choir and others across the nation. It primarily served to provide boys from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds with an opportunity for a musical education.
For current and past participants, however, lessons learned from Honolulu Boy Choir extend far past musical experiences.
“In training the boys to stand still on the choral riser, to focus on the choral director, to listen to the music — you develop poise (and confidence),” says current executive director Blake M. Nuibe.
Nuibe’s involvement with Honolulu Boy Choir dates back to 1989, when his son first joined. He quickly became invested in the program throughout the years and officially re-joined the organization in 2007 as executive director, a voluntary position.
“I love working with the kids,” he says.
Many former Honolulu Boy Choir members have gone on to professional careers in music. Past members include Jordan Segundo, Weldon Kekauoha, Fred Kamaka Jr. and many others, including MidWeek columnist Roberto Viernes.
This winter, Honolulu Boy Choir will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a Dec. 20 concert. Nuibe hopes to reunite as many alumni as possible to participate in a couple of musical numbers, including This Is Our Island Home, its signature song.
“Part of the reason we’ve been able to go on for so long is through the generosity of individuals in the community,” says Nuibe. “A special ‘mahalo’ to Central Union Church for its generosity and for providing a home for the Boy Choir.”
These days, children’s schedules are packed with extracurricular activities, making it difficult for some who have wanted to commit to the choir’s twice-weekly rehearsals.
Currently, Honolulu Boy Choir is recruiting new members. In the past, Nuibe says it has accommodated as many as 175 boys.
The only requirements are that boys be between the ages and 7 and 12, and have a cheerful smile. Previous musical experience is not required. Auditions are conducted by appointment only and should take only 10-15 minutes.
Those interested in joining Honolulu Boy Choir should call 596-SING (7464) or email Nuibe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nuibe also encourages past members who would like to participate in the 40th anniversary concert to contact him.