LIHU‘E — The KOKO Stroll will unfold Friday starting at 5 p.m. at different locations around the Kukui Grove Center.
Featuring students from the Kaua‘i Opio and Keiki Orchestra program, namely Boys &Girls Club of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i Branch members, the KOKO Stroll will have some of the KOKO performers doing solo and duet violin performances at different locations around the mall to announce its online fundraiser, as well as the opening of the KSA Spring Show.
The unique auction fundraiser for KOKO is a collaboration between the youth orchestra program, and the Kaua‘i Society of Artists.
“I’m so glad we found each other,” said RoseAnne Jones, the KSA show chairperson. “They are a nonprofit, we’re a nonprofit, and together, we help each other.”
During the KSA Spring Show that runs from March 5 through April 2, KSA has selected pieces from local artists to be displayed in the gallery that is open daily and open for viewing at the shopping center. Additionally, they have also dedicated a space in the gallery for KOKO to display beautifully painted violins by local artists and Boys &Girls Club members, said Sarah Tochiki of KOKO.
JuliJana Pinnock is one of those violin painters who also had had one of her works accepted for the KSA Spring Show.
“My daughter knows how to play the violin,” said Pinnock, who was the People’s Choice winner during last year’s show. “I can paint.”
Joining Pinnock, Tochiki who serves with Megan Lawson at KOKO, renders a violin masterfully with paint as she does drawing the bow.
“The violins will be available for the public to see, and will be auctioned online during the month of March,” Lawson said. “All of the proceeds will benefit KOKO’s program to continue to provide our community youth with access to quality music education and instruments.”
The online auction link is www.32auctions.com/KOKOviolins.
“The Boys &Girls Club, Lihu‘e Clubhouse Director Asaka Herman has dedicated resources, space, and time to continuing the KOKO program for their youth members throughout this pandemic,” Tochiki said. “Thanks to the BGCH directors, board members, and its youth members, even in the face of an economic recession and strict state restrictions enforced to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, KOKO perseveres.”
Since March, 2020, KOKO has held online classes. Starting in September, 2020, KOKO started a blended course.
“Today in 2021, the student of KOKO meet on a weekly basis in a blended setting, online, or in-person with small groups, observing social distancing and other state health and safety guidelines,” Tochiki said.. “The KOKO program advocates that when youth, given the opportunity to learn string pedagogy, in a safe space, with strong mentors and a quality program, they will build lifelong skills to help them be successful.”
“If you do come by the mall on opening night for the KSA Spring Show, Friday between 5 and 6 p.m., you might be able to spot our KOKO players in their ‘KOKO Stroll,’” Tochiki said. “Thank you for the support and collaboration with KSA, Kukui Grove, and our community members. It is because of you that KOKO continues to provide opportunities for our young string musicians.”