The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing live, high-quality orchestral music to audiences on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The Kamuela Philharmonic celebrates and promotes the timeless beauty of classical music, as well as the rich cultural and musical traditions of the Hawaiian people.
Through our Children's Concerts and other forms of educational and community outreach, we nurture a love and understanding of orchestral music in young people. In addition, the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra provides a showcase for the bottomless talent of our local musicians.
Dr. Madeline Schatz-Harris, founder and Conductor Emeritus,stepped down as Artistic Director and conductor, moving to the mainland in 2012. Dr. Schatz-Harris, who came to Hawaii Island after a long and successful career as a conductor, violinist and teacher, founded the Kamuela Philharmonic early in 2004. She and a handful of musicians got together as a freestanding ensemble to perform classical orchestral repertoire. Since then, under her spirited leadership, the Philharmonic grew to become a professional quality symphony orchestra with as many as 80 musicians, performing classical literature for the musical enjoyment of Hawaii Island residents and visitors.
We have engaged in several collaborative efforts as well, pairing classical music and instruments with both Grammy-winning slack key guitarist John Keawe, as well as the work of artist Herb Kane in a commissioned original piece called “Voyages”. The composer, Paul Csige, grew up in Hawaii, and his work depicts the journey of the First Hawaiians through music and visual art. We also joined forces with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in their production of “Trial By Jury” in 2014.
Recognizing the importance of exposing our island's keiki to quality, live, classical music, Dr. Schatz-Harris and the Kamuela Philharmonic have also presented children's concerts, and since 2012, have held annual concerto competitions for students. The competition is now called the “Schatz-Harris Concert Competition” in recognition of the Kamuela Philharmonic's founder and first Artistic Director. Each year, the winners in three age groups are invited to perform their concerto with the orchestra at one of the Philharmonic's regular season concerts. Many exceptional musicians have participated in our statewide Concerto Competition, including Kisa Uradomo, who recently went on tour with the National Youth Symphony, one of only two Hawaiians to have ever been invited to join that prestigious orchestra.
In the years following Dr. Schatz-Harris' departure the orchestra underwent a further growing experience. At the center of that time frame was the worldwide search for a new Artist Director. The hiring of Maestro Brian Dollinger in the spring of 2016, from a field of over 100 candidates, is a major step forward for the organization.
Responding to the growth of our following, Kamuela Philharmonic now has a staff Executive Director, and a Board of Directors that is fully-engaged with all it takes to make reality from the dream of an local symphony that evidences deep roots in the Hawaiian and Big Island community.
If you are interested in donating financially or physically to our endeavors please contact us. Our organization is designated 501(c)3 by the IRS so any donations may be tax deductible.
Please sit back, relax and enjoy the exquisite music we will be performing for you this season. We present it with great love. We're glad you are here and welcome you to this season of the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society. Our loyal audiences and performers have fulfilled a need for, and perpetuated a growing love of, classical music on the Big Island. Thank you all.
The Kamuela Philharmonic
Nancy Stephenson, Preside nt
Niel Thomas, Vice President
George Winchell, Treasurer
Sharon Cannon, Secretary