On April 30, 2017, following Dharma School’s wonderfully musical Eshin-ni/Kakushin-ni Day service which was also dedicated to World Peace, folks headed to the social hall to enjoy more uplifting music at Hawaii Betsuin’s MusicFest.  The theme of MusicFest was May Peace Prevail… of Such I Dream  in anticipation  of Rev. Takamasa Yamamura of Myohoji Mission singing May Peace Prevail at the program’s conclusion.

(Note: By clicking the menu at the upper-left corner of the embedded video, you can select any of the MusicFest videos in the Hawaii Betsuin playlist.)

First up, Cameron Kubota and Caden Matsumoto of the Dharma School Ukulele Group charmed all as they sang Just the Way You Are and Can’t Help Falling in Love. Dharma School students, parents, and teachers then combined with Choir members to sing a rousing rendition of Do the Good You Know under the direction of Laura Nakasone. The Choir, directed by Mari Murakami and accompanied by Francis Okano, sang three songs, Shall I Dream a Dream?, Beyond What We See, and I Dream a World, describing the dream of a world in which peace may prevail. An audience participation piece followed with everyone learning to dance a spirited Zumpa Odori. Francis Okano then took a solo turn on the piano with his own lovely arrangement of Hamabe no Uta, the Song of the Shore.

The grand finale of MusicFest, May Peace Prevail, was sung with touching conviction by Rev. Takamasa Yamamura, who had trained rigorously in Italy as an operatic tenor.  In attendance  to hear him sing were May Peace Prevail  lyricist, Carrie Kawamoto, and music composer, Dr. Takeo Kudo.  Rev. Yamamura’s encore piece was his captivating  Sen no Kaze ni Natte, A Thousand Winds.  Rev. Yamamura has said that he considers music to be “a tool for creating world peace.”  Surely, as MusicFest came to a close, all could envision a world where peace may truly prevail and wished to echo the Choir who sang, “Of such I dream, of such I dream.”

submitted by Wendie Yumori

The MusicFest videos may also be played on YouTube by accessing the Hawaii Betsuin playlist on the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii YouTube channel.