Big Concert For Art At Ahuimanu

A one-night concert could pay for a year of music instruction for children at Ahuimanu Elementary School. That’s why seven artists will convene for a special fundraiser “Under the Ko‘olau Moon” from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the school.

Local performers Paula Fuga, Smokestack, Mystikal Vibez, Maryanne Ito, Shawn Garnett, Ally & Tamatoa and The Bitten (composed of Castle students) headline the May 9 event, which also fea- tures a student Tahitian halau performance and food vendors.

Advance tickets are on sale at the school’s front office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. They cost $15 for adults and $10 for children age 12 and under. Admission for everyone increases to $20 at the door.

The goal is to hire a full-time music teacher, according to Ahuimanu principal Phyllis Shipman. “Our teachers all provide music education for the children, but it’s not the same as a skilled music teacher who can really develop a program,” she explained. The fundraising goal, she said, is $15,000 — enough to hire a dedicated music teacher at least part time.

But even if they fall short of that amount, Shipman added, the funds still will go to arts and music education. “We’re flexible, but the money is not for some other purpose. It’s to support the arts in the school,” she said, noting possibilities like expanding display space for artwork, different craft activities or even quarterly, specialized music instruction.

“We’ve never done anything quite like this before,” she admitted, giving credit to the parents, who spearheaded the concert planning. “It’s a little bit different than anything we’ve ever tried. It’s something we hope our own parents and community will gravitate to.

“We decided we would invite the entire Kaneohe community and see if others would enjoy it, too.”

For more information, call the school at 239-3125.