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Chad Kamei award
Chad Kamei, center, receives a certificate from Assistant Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong, left, and Acting State Superintendent Keith Hayashi. (Photo credit: Hawaiʻi State Dept. of Education)

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate and founder of the UH West Oʻahu band, Chadwick Kamei, was recently inducted into the High School Band Directors National Hall of Fame. Kamei has been the band director at Pearl City High School since 2006.

Chad Kamei award
Bandmaster Robert Smith presents Chad Kamei with the High School Band Directors National Hall of Fame award. (Photo credit: Hawaiʻi State Dept. of Education)

The bandmaster became just the 65th to receive the honor by the High School Band Directors National Association since the award was created in 1982. The three Hawaiʻi members of the Hall of Fame are graduates of the UH Mānoa College of Education. They include longtime music educators Wayne Kawakami and Michael Nakasone, who was previously the bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band, 2005–2010.

“These awards are a testament to the support that we receive from our parents, community, Department of Education, School Administration and legislators in the great state of Hawaii,” said Kamei. “I am honored and humbled to receive this amazing recognition from the greatest band director organization in our country.”

Under his leadership, Pearl City High School’s music program has been recognized around the world for the students’ performances. They have traveled to China, England, Japan and the continental U.S. to compete and perform. He is also one of the 300 chosen members of the American Bandmasters Association for the U.S. and Canada.

Kamei has made significant contributions to the local school music community. In 2014, he helped create the UH West Oʻahu band and continues to teach there. Since 2006, he has led the coordination for the annual Oʻahu High School Marching Band Festival.

“This is a significant honor recognizing stellar work,” said Nakasone, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. “It is fitting that Bandmaster Kamei be inducted.”

Through the National High School Band Directors Hall of Fame, the organization honors the nation’s finest and most dedicated music teachers.

Gov. David Ige and other lawmakers honored Kamei with certificates recognizing his achievement at the band program’s concert in May.

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