Student Orchestra Raises Funds With Pearl City Performance

Moanalua High Symphony Orchestra performing at Pearl City Cultural Center for a winter concert. Photo from Elden T. Seta.

The 92 Moanalua High School students in the symphony orchestra have been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall on March 31.

This will be the third time the school’s orchestra has performed at the historic auditorium, having gone once in 1998 and again in 2005.

To alleviate the costs of the trip, the symphony orchestra also will perform this Sunday in a fundraising concert that begins at 6 p.m. at Pearl City Cultural Center.

“This tour is not just a performance, but an educational experience to enrich their lives,” explained Elden T. Seta, who has been the orchestra director for the last 25 years.

The school was chosen by unanimous vote of a selection committee, after it submitted a recording of a recent performance.

In addition to each student paying for their expenses, the orchestra also must transport equipment, and rent instruments, stands, chairs and space for rehearsal time while traveling.

Family and friends, as well as the community, who are not able to travel with the students at the end of the month can preview their performance at this Sunday’s concert, where the orchestra will treat the audience to the same 45-minute show that it will play at Carnegie Hall.

The performance consists of four pieces: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture by Glinka, Internet Symphony Eroica by Tan Dun, Aloha From Hawaii arranged by Byron Yasui and Finale From Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikowsky.

While on their way to New York City, the orchestra also will stop in Washington, D.C., for four days.

“For many students, this is their first experience to the East Coast,” said Seta. “Many of the things we will see in D.C. and New York City are things they only see in books or on the Internet.”

Beyond that, Seta is thankful the students have received this opportunity and is grateful to everyone who has helped them.

“We have an extremely supportive administration that supports the arts and its benefits to create the ideal person for the world,” he said.

That’s not to mention the Moanalua High School Music Booster Association, community, alumni and friends who continue to contribute to the program.

Tickets for Sunday’s concert cost $10 and are available for purchase at the door, or through any Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra member.