YWCA honoree Nola Nahulu brings harmony to Hawaii's performing youth

By Grace Lee - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At the helm of the Children's choir that's where Nola Nahulu feels the most comfortable.

"I think the hardest part is... let's see patience and remembering that this is not about us, it's about them."

Nola has patience in spades. It's just one of her many gifts that has her students coming back.

"I think she's just an unforgettable person in every way," Lauren Chang said.

"It truly is inspirational and that is the reason so many of us want to continue to sing with and work with her and be involved with her," Malia said.

In 25 years with the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, Nola has helped develop thousands of young performers. When she joined in the 80's, only about 30 students were involved.

Now there are more than 200 singing out their hearts in 50 performances every year. Their concerts have taken them to Washington D.C. where they visited the White House and at Iolani Palace. Kids from kindergarten through the 12th grade have learned to sing in Japanese, Korean and Hawaiian.

From the language to the stories told through hula, the Hawaiian culture is steeped in this organization.

"Over the years it's become a huge part of what we do to the point that next year every single child in the HYOC will have hula as part of their rehearsal every week," Chang said.

Nola's accomplishments have won her accolades that have surprised her. She says she's always considered herself to be in the background.

"Even when we're conducting people don't see our front they see our back," Nola said.

But now she is front and center keeping an eye on the musical education of our youth. She says that's where she gets her energy and passion -- straight from the soul.

"It's when they light up that's what lights me up," she says.

Because in the end for Nola, it's all about harmony.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.