Did you know that Hawaii is home to the oldest orchestra in the nation, west of the Rocky Mountains?

Founded in 1900, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (formerly Honolulu Symphony Orchestra) used to play out of a clubhouse near Punchbowl. Today, members perform from the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu. It strives “to delight and educate audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and enhance the cultural vitality and quality of life in these islands,” according to the orchestra’s site.

Hearing the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra always reminds me that the holidays are here. We usually try to see at least one of their shows in December, which is when the weather’s just chilly enough to warrant wearing winter-wear in Hawaii! If you imagine hard enough, you feel like you’re in New York City, hehe.

Many music lovers know the orchestra for its notable lineups of international conductors and musicians. They blend this with local talent, like a show in 2010, when they brought ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro to the stage.

Behind the scenes, the band went through a series of transformations and had to adapt to a changing musical and cultural fashion. In addition, it endured two World Wars, the Great Depression and financial crises.

If you’re interested in seeing the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra perform, then check out it’s website for upcoming shows:

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