Hakuoh University Handbell Choir - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hakuoh University Handbell Choir

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(HawaiiNewsNow) - Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the internationally-recognized Hakuoh University Handbell Choir will be on O'ahu from February 13-15 for its 22nd Goodwill Tour of Hawai'i, offering three public concerts, scheduled performances for friends of Hakuoh University, and more than 500 O'ahu school children.

Led by acclaimed director Hirotaka Arai, who founded the choir in 1988, the 20 student handbell ringers will perform free public concerts on:

February 13, at 7 p.m. at Windward Community College's Palik Theatre,

45-720 Kea'ahala Rd., Kane'ohe

February 14, at 10 a.m. at Leeward Community College Theatre, 96-045 Ala 'Ike, Pearl City

February 15, at 7 p.m. at United Church of Christ, 467 North Judd St., Honolulu

The choir will perform a range of selections from classical standards including Beethoven's "Symphony No. 7" to contemporary hits from the musical "The Phantom of the Opera"

as well as a Hawaiian favorite "Hawai'i Aloha." The choir has the capacity to ring seven octaves of handbells, and their dedication to practice and performance has created worldwide demand for their music.

The Goodwill Tour of Hawai'i includes a performance for friends of Hakuoh University at a Friendship Luncheon on Friday, February 15, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i's Mnoa Grand Ballroom. In addition, they have scheduled free concerts for students on

Wednesday, February 13, at Windward Community College and on Thursday, February 14, at Leeward Community College.

From their home in Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, Hakuoh's ensemble has traveled to performances in Canada, England, and Australia and has entertained audiences including the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the King and Queen of Belgium. They have performed at Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland and have plans to participate in the August 2014 symposium in Jeju, South Korea.

In February 2008, Hakuoh University signed an international cooperative agreement with the University of Hawai'i Community Colleges. The annual Handbell Choir Concert, co-sponsored by Hakuoh University and the UH Community Colleges, is one of the cooperative activities undertaken by the two institutions.

For more information about the choir's performances, call (808) 956-0321.