Posted on Mar 23, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – Next month, 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 will be open through the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra on its regular schedule.

“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. “So many 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 U.S. Forest Service, Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and DOFAW, performances will be free of charge for all students, teachers, and chaperones.

“The upcoming set of performances is designed to spark new discussions about ways to support and appreciate forests and inspire citizen-led action to plant and care for trees,” said Dr. Heather McMillen, Urban and Community Forester with DOFAW. “Although native forests and trees in our neighborhoods have been declining due to habitat loss, drought, and wildfire  ̶  forests are resilient. There are many things each of us can do to support trees and forests.”

Space is available for additional fourth through 12th grade classrooms to participate, and teachers are encouraged to register at the “Symphony of Hawai‘i Forests” website to reserve space.

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(All images courtesy: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)


Photographs – Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra:



“Symphony of the Hawaiʻi Forests” website: https://symphonyofthehawaiiforests.com/

Symphony of the Hawaiʻi Forests registration for teachers: https://symphonyofthehawaiiforests.com/registration/

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]