Blockbuster night for music

LIHUE — Darryl Miyasato wants to introduce the people of Kauai to the music of composer John Williams.

His music can be heard in movies like “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” “Jaws” and “Indiana Jones.”

“People don’t know his name, but they know his music,” said Miyasato, music instructor at Kauai High School.

Members of the Kauai High School symphonic, jazz and ukulele bands and chorus will be performing scores from those blockbuster movies at the annual Kauai Pops Concert on Wednesday.

“We want to perform music the audience and students will recognize,” Miyasato said.

The concert has a different theme each year. Previously, students have performed music by the Beatles, Bob Marley, as well as classic rock.

The Kauai Pops Concert is different from other concerts because students pick the theme.

“And that determines what music we learn every quarter,” Miyasato said.

Giving students a say in what they learn gives them an incentive to participate, he added.

But exploring the different themes is just as beneficial to Miyasato.

“A lot of my students didn’t know about John Williams, and are learning more than they ever imagined — I am even learning things about him,” Miyasato said.

For example, he said he didn’t know Williams, an 84-year-old composer from New York, still composes his music with pencil and paper.

Miyasato, who was born and raised in Lihue, returned to Kauai High School as the school’s music instructor. He has a bachelor’s degree in musical composition and a master’s degree in classical performance. Before returning to his alma mater, Miyasato played the bass for the Spokane Symphony in Spokane, Washington.

This year’s concert will boast the talents of 200 students.

The Kauai Pops Concert will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.


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