Posted on Apr 13, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – Next week, the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra will host special performances for students weaving together music, art, science, and storytelling. “Symphony of the Hawai‘i Forests” is a collaboration including the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hālau ʻŌhiʻa, and others to strengthen our pilina (relationships) with each other, our forests, and the arts.

“Symphony of the Hawai‘i Forests” will include orchestral performances accompanied by newly created animations of ka‘ao (legendary stories), hula, and student artwork. The first performances will be attended by fourth through 12th grade students on Oʻahu at the Hawai‘i Theatre Center on Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21. Additional performances may be possible, pending community support.

“This project is a symphony in so many ways, not just musically,” said Dr. Takuma Itoh, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Professor of Music and project lead. “Members of our community came together to make this a possibility. It celebrates our forests of Hawai‘i musically, artistically, culturally, and scientifically, and hopefully resonates with students and people from all walks of life.”

With support from the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra Fund for Education and Community Engagement, Hawai‘i Theatre’s Partners in Arts Program, U.S. Forest Service, Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and DOFAW, performances are free of charge for all students, teachers, and chaperones.

“The performances are designed to spark new discussions about ways to connect with native forests through community-led action to plant and care for trees,” said Dr. Heather McMillen, DOFAW Urban and Community Forester. “Although native forests and urban trees in our neighborhoods have been declining, forests are resilient. There are many things each of us can do to support trees and forests. It starts with having a relationship.”

Teachers are encouraged to check for availability for additional fourth through 12th grade classrooms to participate at the “Symphony of Hawai‘i Forests” website.

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(All images courtesy: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)


Photographs – Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra:



“Symphony of the Hawaiʻi Forests” website:


For more information contact Dr. Takuma Itoh, Professor of Music at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, at [email protected], or visit https://symphonyofthehawaiiforests.com/.

Media Contact:

Ryan Aguilar

Communications Specialist

Hawai‘i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]