University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s homecoming football game was extra special for a mother and son from Pearl City. Ceanne Englar, a former drum major for the UH Mānoa marching band from 1994–96, marched on the field and conducted the band’s pregame show alongside her son, Michael Englar Jr., who is a current UH Mānoa drum major.
“I had to force myself to stay in the moment and concentrate on not messing up because every time I looked at him, I would get emotional,” Ceanne said. “Part of it was seeing him do something that was such a big part of my college experience, but it was more so just seeing him do something he loves. He’s such a talented musician and truly a ‘people person,’ so being in this role really suits him. I’m thankful that he was happy to have me around. At least I think he was.”
This actually wasn’t the first time Englar Jr. performed in the marching band with his parents. In 2018, he took the field at homecoming as a trumpet player alongside his father, Michael Englar Sr., who also played trumpet during his years in the band and is a current music teacher at Waipahu Intermediate School.
“It was an awesome experience being able to conduct alongside my mom during homecoming,” Englar Jr. said. “I have been conducted by her in previous homecomings, however, to be performing alongside her in front of the band was an awesome experience I’ll remember for a while. This is also important to me because now I have performed alongside both of my parents as members of the UH band.”
Ceanne has been a proud public school teacher for the past 25 years. She has held various classroom and teacher lead positions at Waipahu Intermediate School since 2001, and is now the school’s academy director, focusing on providing students with opportunities to learn about themselves and about possible paths to become college and career ready.
Englar Jr. is already an accomplished musician, studying trumpet performance. He has served as a trumpet section leader in the marching band and concert band, and played principal trumpet in the orchestra and jazz band. Englar Jr. also marched as a trumpet player in Drum Corps International for the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2018–21, capturing a championship in 2018. He is expected to graduate in the spring. Like both of his parents, Englar Jr. wants to educate upcoming generations.
“In the future, ideally I would like to design and teach marching band shows,” Englar Jr. said. “I have gotten so much from the marching arts and I would love to give back to the community who made me who I am today.”
Ceanne added, “I’m so thankful for the UH band program that provided me, and now my son, with so many opportunities and wonderful memories. The life lessons I learned and the friendships I made being in the UH band contributed greatly to my college experience. I see those same things happening for Michael and I’m so grateful.”
UH band’s annual homecoming celebration
The band welcomed back approximately 70 alumni members to perform during its pregame show. Along with the Englars, a father and son duo of Roger Pinell (alumni) and Dane Pinell (current drum major), also performed.
UH Mānoa marching band Assistant Director Gwen Nakamura organizes homecoming annually and missed the experience during the pandemic.
“Homecoming was really coming home this year since it’s been two years since we had alumni,” Nakamura said. “It made it even more special when you have families like the Englars here together. To see Ceanne and Mike together on the field both as drum majors, one past and one present, was so cool. To see that tradition passed down from mom to son is amazing.”
—By Marc Arakaki
UH marching band pregame show on homecoming versus Duquesne on September 17.