Left to Right – Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, Jaynie Gaoiran, VP of the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra, Skyler Sponberg, President of the School Symphony Orchestra and Elden Seta, teacher for the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra.
Left to Right – Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, Jaynie Gaoiran, VP of the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra, Skyler Sponberg, President of the School Symphony Orchestra and Elden Seta, teacher for the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra.

This is a copy of the remarks Rep. Aaron Johanson made from the floor of the House of Representatives on behalf of the  Moanalua High School’s Symphony Orchestra

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, the Representative from Salt Lake and I are proud to recognize our alma mater’s continued excellence in the arts today.

In the minds of many in and outside the broader Moanalua community, our high school is synonymous with phenomenal achievement in music.

Today, we honor and commend the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra for its record third invitation to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City, one of our country’s most prestigious musical performance venues.

The symphony orchestra consists of the symphony strings, selected winds and percussion. The music program has experienced unprecedented growth and success over the years. Moanalua High School places a special emphasis on music; the Music Department offers a wide range of courses including Marching Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Chorus. The department has over 650 members, approximately 1 in every 3 students at Moanalua are a part of a Music Department.

In fact, it often feels like literally everyone has been a part of the music program, ironically except the Representative from Salt Lake and me!

We especially wanted to commend the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra because their national recognition is significant.

Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra holds the distinction of being the first student orchestra in the country ever to be formally invited to perform at Carnegie Hall by the Carnegie Hall Corporation in 1998. This was not only an important achievement for the school, but also an important achievement for Hawaii. It demonstrated that Hawaii is nationally recognized for musical performance. Moanalua made history by performing in 1998, but rather than being a one-time success, they continued, received and accepted an invitation to perform for a second time in 2005, and again, they will perform on one of the most prestigious musical venues in the world later this month.

To quote the public release of Mid-America Productions, the company in charge of organizing performances at Carnegie Hall, “the talented young musicians of Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra have made their mark throughout the country highlighted by two performances in Carnegie Hall. They received standing ovations for their spectacular performances both times they performed previously in Carnegie Hall. The Symphony Orchestra has received ‘Superior’ ratings for their astounding performances in their State Orchestra Festival for the past 23 years, and the ensemble is considered by many to be one of the finest high school orchestras in the country.”

This is an important achievement for all of Hawaii’s public schools as it demonstrates much of the great work being done.

Many great things are going on at all of the schools that we are privileged enough to represent.

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