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HMI was conceived by members of Windward Community College’s advisory board, including Mike McCartney, the former CEO of PBS Hawai‘i, and William Meyer, a prominent entertainment industry attorney. In the eyes of its founders, the Institute would help to nurture and inspire Hawai‘i’s musical talent, offer instruction about both the making and the business of music, and provide a showcase for sharing talent and information.


  • To preserve and perpetuate the music of Hawai‘i—from indigenous Hawaiian music and dance to contemporary music of all genres.
  • To provide a venue for the teaching and appreciation of music across generations and in all its varied forms.
  • To help aspiring musicians achieve their personal and professional goals.

People and Programs

HMI offers noncredit courses in fall, spring and summer, covering everything from hula and slack key guitar to advice on performance and copyright law. The instructors include some of the best in the music business: Melveen Leed, Brother Noland, Rich Crandall, Byron Yasui, Mike KatoRon Loo, and attorney William Meyer.

Promise for the Future

As interest and support for HMI grows, the College hopes to continue to work with community partners such as PBS Hawai‘i to provide more concerts showcasing Hawai‘i’s musical treasures and merging talent and an expanded series of courses and special programs.

Windward Community College is uniquely positioned to house an institute dedicated to teaching, learning, and preserving the music of Hawai‘i for future generations. It recently opened a state-of-the-art visual and performing arts center with the 300-seat Paliku Theatre, music, and dance studios.

HMI fills a void in Hawai‘i’s music industry by bridging the gap between performer, student and business professional.


Dwyer Schraff Meyer Grant & Green
Hawaii Community Foundation
Murabayashi Foundation

Kamuela Kimokeo.
Hawai‘i Music Institute Director
Windward Community College