Start of something new

LIHUE — Kaui Tanaka of the Mayor’s Office was surprised when the Kauai All-Island Band turned down the use of the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall Sunday.

“They said they wanted a place where they could test the elements,” Tanaka said.

With the county’s mobile stage in place on the access road fronting the Historic County Building from Saturday’s Visitor Industy Charity Walk, the Kauai All-Island Band instead marched past the stage and parked under the spreading boughs of the monkeypod trees on the eastern end of the lawn.

“We leave in 11 days to participate in the National Memorial Day Parade,” said Sarah Tochiki, director along with and Kevin Toma. “This is the first time a band from Hawaii has been invited to participate in this parade that is televised around the world.”

The parade will feature, among its many facets, a tribute to the World War II generation, paying respect to the 75th anniversary of the bombing on Pearl Harbor. The parade will also honor “the fallen of Sept. 11, 2001” and the 25th anniversary of the Gulf War.

Tochiki said the students worked on the band separately from their normal school work.

“There were no breaks,” she said. “They worked during the weekends, and a lot of the breaks. Everything was done outside of school.”

Following nearly 90 minutes of symphonic music capped with a moving “Aloha Oe” piece to close the performance, Tanaka said this might be the start of something new for the lawn of the Historic County Building.

“This was nice,” she said. “People being able to enjoy nice musical performances in the shade on a Sunday afternoon? We might have to look into this.”

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