LIHUE — Barbara Oki of Oki Plate Lunch and Gifts wanted to know where the students were from Sunday as she left her greeter’s chair to get a better look at the band blaring its music through the mall.
“Where are these children from?” Oki wanted to know. “What are they doing?”
The Kauai All-Island Band, under the direction of Sarah Tochiki and Kevin Toma, combined a practice and funds solicitation to help a high school hammered by Hurricane Harvey.
“We saw this on an online video,” Tochiki said. “The students were hit pretty hard. They’re sharing instruments, some of their equipment and sheet music are not covered by insurance. But they continue to perform, borrowing instruments so they can play at football games.”
Band members come from around the island, and plan on participating in the Holiday Bowl Game and Parade as well as perform in Disneyland.
The Sunday practice combined both an indoor portion where lunchtime diners enjoyed music in the food court area at Kukui Grove Center.
But the focus was on students who needed help after Harvey.
“On the eve of Hurricane Iniki’s anniversary, we decided we wanted to help them because if the same thing happened to us, we would appreciate getting help,” Tochiki said. “We also want to set up a relationship to get to know them better.”