Monday, May 10, 1999

Aiea High band
wins top awards
for both skill and
spirit in London

Star-Bulletin staff


The members of the Aiea High School band went to Europe as novice travelers and returned as champions.

The 56 young musicians competed against nine other music ensembles and took home the first-place trophy at the Royal London Heritage Music Festival held at Queen Mary and Westbrook College.

The band was invited to participate after winning second place last year in a national competition, the Seattle Heritage Music Festival.

The band also won the Spirit of London Award, which band director Glenn Kidani says in some ways means more than the first-place trophy. The spirit award recognizes the group that best represents its nation and school.

"That means our kids behaved well, they were polite, they were helpful -- all those things we tell them to be, they were," Kidani said. "So we're doing something right."

The band returned April 11 from the 10-day trip that also took them to Paris. The travel experience itself was as important as the festival, Kidani said.

For most of the students it was their first trip out of the country.

"Their eyes are wider," he said. "Before they left, they thought Hawaii was it. Now they know Hawaii is just a small drop in a big pond, but they also know how nice it is here."

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