Solomon and schools promote ‘music for music’

Local musician Norman Ka‘awa Solomon’s latest act of charity is donating money to the schools of Kaua‘i.

He and his producer, Jon Scott, from Songs of the Island announced that $5 of each CD sold through their Web sites will be donated by Solomon and Songs of the Island to any Kaua‘i school of choice.

All the songs on the CD are about Kaua’i and include winning 2004 Grammy musical contributors Bryan Kessler, Ken Emerson and Kaua‘i’s own Cindy Combs.

“It was Norman and I both who came up with the idea,” Scott said. “We started doing this with Hanalei School. Then that was successful so we figured, why not do it with all schools. We’ve just had a positive response.”

Scott then sent letters to every school on Kaua‘i inviting them to participate.

“This is our way of giving back to the community through the gift of music. Any donations could go to music education or wherever the school needs to use it. However it is beneficial to them,” Scott said.

Solomon previously donated hundreds of copies of “Na Mele O Kaua‘i” to all the national guardsmen from Kaua‘i.

Solomon is currently in Australia touring and promoting the CD.

“We have found that residents e-mail their family and friends back home and ask them to help out a school, and at the same time, when they buy the CD, they’ll have music that ties them to Kaua‘i,” Scott said.

Bob Springer, principal of Island School in Puhi, said he was happy to work with the record company.

“We were delighted to be a part of this and it’s very nice Hawaiian music, all related to Kaua‘i,” Springer said. “In our situation, if people order the album, we get $5 for every one sold. We’ve got a ‘jillion’ things we need the money for. Whenever our kids take a trip, we need money for that. We always need money for musical instruments.”

To spread the word to his staff and parents of the students of the school, Springer put this promotion on the front page of the “Parent Connection” newsletter.

David Mireles, principal of Kula High and Intermediate schools said they’ve been informed of several donations being made to their school already.

“We just launched it Friday and Jon said we’ve already garnered some sales,” Mireles said. “I think I want to use it for our music program to help us acquire more musical instruments to put into the hands of our musically talented students. We’ll call it the Music for Music program.”

To participate in purchasing the CD and donating the money to a school, log on to songsoftheislands.com. Click on “Buy Now,” a screen with instructions will come up. Type in the name of the school that should receive the money at check out time.

The CD was originally released last summer and has sold thousands of copies.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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