Personal Growth From Musical Education

By Judy Journeay,
HYOC parent and volunteer

Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus (HYOC) is the longest-running community youth chorus in Hawaii. HYOC strives to provide the best possible musical education program for children in kindergarten through high school. Its mission is to nurture, foster and develop the performing arts through choral music.

My family has participated in HYOC for almost 10 years. My daughter graduated from the program, and my son, who started at age 5 in the “Bambini” chorus, is now in the high school chorus. I have found HYOC to be a safe, caring environment that provides many opportunities for musical and personal growth.


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HYOC members Mia Aamodt, Naomi Pang, Trisha Hirano and Jennifer Pang HYOC PHOTO

There are close to 200 students, ages 5 to 18, from schools all over Oahu. Each Saturday morning during the school year, children study vocal technique, ear training, sight singing, music theory and history. They learn a rich variety of sacred and secular music, and are exposed to the languages and musical styles of our global community. A special emphasis is given to the preservation of Hawaiian music and culture through song and hula.

Music is hardly the only thing to be learned at HYOC. Children who participate pick up many lessons that will serve them well as they grow. “Early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable” is the go-to reminder at my house when planning to attend events. Thank you, Auntie Diane!

HYOC was founded in 1961 by Eileen Lum and University of Hawaii voice teacher Richard Vine. It originally was started to train children for youth choruses in operas. HYOC has provided youth singers for Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) productions since its founding. My own children have had the opportunity to be on stage and sing with the professionals of HOT and the symphony, in productions such as Carmen and Tosca.

Contributions to HYOC are vital to its success as it continues to provide quality musical education to the children of Hawaii. HYOC is a nonprofit, charitable education organization; donations are tax-deductible. For more information, visit our website at or call 521-2982.

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