Royal welcome

It’s been a long time since the Royal Hawaiian Band has performed on Kauai.

How long?

“I can’t remember exactly when,” said Clarke Bright, RHW bandmaster. 

Well, Chucky Boy Chock, Kauai musician, composer and pastor, has an idea. He believes it was last around 1928.

“Eighty-seven years ago,” he said.

It’s time for a return engagement. 

Chock, with help from others, is bringing the Royal Hawaiian Band to Kauai for a June 20 concert at Prince Kuhio Park. It’s not by chance it’s being held where Prince Kuhio was born in 1871. The performance is also a tribute to the prince, who was raised in Koloa and was elected as Hawaii’s congressional delegate for 10 terms. 

“He was the people’s prince,” Chock said. “He totally was for his people.”

Chock said the idea of bringing the Royal Hawaiian Band came about when he was visiting in Kekaha and listening to kupuna talking about the old days. Music was part of that conversation.

“I asked, ‘How many of you have ever seen the Royal Hawaiian Band?’” he said. 

Two raised their hands. One said she saw the group perform when she was 6 years old. 

 “Would you guys want to see them again?” Chock asked.

Yes, came the answer, “but it’s too expensive to go to Honolulu.”

The Royal Hawaiian Band is an agency of the City and County of Honolulu. It was founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III and is the only band in the United States with a royal legacy. Its mission is to promote and foster music, to preserve the Hawaiian musical culture, and inspire young musicians. It performs almost exclusively on Oahu.

Chock decided to find out if the band could come to Kauai this summer. Following a few phone calls, turns out, yes, it could.

“It all worked out,” he said.

Even better than he hoped.

Bright told Chock that when he asked the band members who wanted to travel to Kauai for a concert, all 41 hands went up.

“We’re very excited,” Bright said Thursday. 

The band, which performs throughout year, is delighted to be part of a celebration on Kauai and at such a place as Prince Kuhio Park. 

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity,” he said. 

A large crowd is expected for the concert. Musician Palani Vaughan will be a special guest performer. Tickets will be just $10.

Chock is thrilled the concert came together and praises others for coming on board to help make it happen. He downplays his role.

“I really don’t want to take credit,” he said.

While the stage is set, work remains.

Organizers are trying to raise $25,000 to cover the band’s traveling costs. 

“We need help,” Chock said. 

Those wishing to chip in can send checks to the Kauai Museum.

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