Furukado awarded Waipa Memorial Scholarship

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Date: Monday, August 25, 2014
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The Performing Arts Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo selected a sophomore Performing Arts major as the recipient of the Clarence Keahialoa Waipa Memorial Scholarship in the Performing Arts. The award is for $1,000.

Ryder Kaleikoa Furukado is a graduate of Kamehameha School, Kea’au, and also has a concentration in Music. Furukado began his musical training with the keiki choir at Kamehameha Schools and soon began playing the trumpet in the school’s concert band. In high school, he played in the orchestra for The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz, performed in the annual ho’ike, and sang in the choir.

A definitive influence in Furkado’s music studies came with the Hawaiian opera written by his mentor at Kamehameha, Herbert Mahelona. The original work, entitled E Hoʻi i ke Kumuwaena - Return to the Source, captivated and inspired Furukado because he saw the merit of using “music and theatre as my medium to reach out to other people and show my culture and history as a Hawaiian.”

Furukado has begun working on his own Hawaiian opera, hoping for that effort to fulfill his senior project requirement at UH Hilo.

Waipa, who passed away in 2011, was a renowned musician who hailed from Keaukaha and taught music, art, and drama at St. Joseph’s High School for over 30 years. He also was the music director of Sing Out Hilo, the Kamehameha Alumni Choir, and the choirs of the Seventh-Day Adventist and First United Protestant churches.

Funds for the scholarship were raised in a concert featuring Waipa’s music performed by the UH Hilo Kapili Choir, the University Chorus, the Kamehameha Schools Concert Glee and Choir, the Kamehameha Alumni Choir, and former St. Joseph’s students and members of Sing Out Hilo.

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