On October 31 and November 1, 2018, the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra will perform Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds, an innovative orchestral concert that teaches elementary and secondary students about Hawai‘i’s native bird extinction crisis, at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall. It is anticipated that the concert, which premiered in May, will bring in more than 5,000 students from over 50 schools on O‘ahu. These concerts are free to school groups, grades four through twelve.
Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds is a collaboration among the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE), Colleges of Arts and Humanities, the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and two community partners – the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra. Charlotte Frambaugh-Kritzer, Director of the COE Institute for Teacher Education Secondary program and a principal investigator, describes being involved with this project as one of the top highlights of her career.
“I’m so excited that we can offer more shows this fall,” Frambaugh-Kritzer said. “The music, hula, and animation presented at the symphony becomes another vehicle for us all to feel the plight of the Hawaiian forest birds coupled with learning the importance of conservation. In my opinion, there is not a more compelling learning opportunity for our primary and secondary students.”
Frambaugh-Kritzer co-designed lesson plans about Hawaiian forest birds for teachers to share with their students prior to attending the symphony. In addition, there is an art contest that is open to all students (grades 4–12) in the state, and many of the works will be featured at the concert.
Funded by UH Strategic Investment Initiatives from the Offices of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Research, these additional performances have also received funding from the estate of Frances M.J. & Alexander L. Pickens (COE Professor Emeritus). Visit the Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds website to apply, learn more, or explore the many resources and materials to engage students in learning.