Pacific Music Institute is a summer music intensive where students can hone their craft and share their love for music with peers from Hawai‘i and beyond. A part of the music-making magic? Our faculty!

PMI faculty range from local legends to visiting visionaries; it’s this range of perspectives that give our students a well-rounded music education that makes a mark! They will learn from a variety of faculty with different backgrounds and experiences, all with common threads that make our community richer: a love of music and a drive for excellence.

At PMI 2024, we are excited to welcome 12 visiting faculty members as well as several guests of the Orchestral Learning Alliance, through our partners at the National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F). Providing diverse perspectives is an integral facet to the learning experience at PMI; let’s take a deeper look!

Building a Diverse Musical Community

One reason we love our visiting faculty is the diversity they add to our musical community. Some of our faculty members bring international experiences, such as violin faculty member, Jisun Kang, who has served as the concertmaster of the Ureuk Symphony in Seoul. Cello faculty member, Parry Karp, has performed over 1,000 concerts throughout North, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia with the Pro Arte Quartet. Another cello faculty member, Vicky Wang, has participated in music festivals globally, including in Japan, Switzerland, and Italy, and teaches at University of the Pacific. 

Having such international experiences brings a range of lessons for our students. Clara Kim, violin faculty member, explains that her favorite part about PMI is its diverse community. “The people are amazing, the faculty are incredible and so inspiring and come from all over,” she says. Because PMI is a week-long intensive, Clara elaborates that the community is very memorable and special: “I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues as well, and the students are so engaged, so open minded, and willing to try things.” 

Our visiting faculty also bring a broad range of professional experience, from playing in ensembles and teaching to other musical endeavors. Trumpet faculty, Betsy Bright, maintains a private trumpet studio, is the founder of a nonprofit called Tucson Brass Workshop, and is a member of several ensembles in Tucson, Arizona. Our clarinet faculty member, Ryan Toher, has performed as guest principal with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and was the grand prize winner of the Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition in 2018!  

The range of engagements across all our faculty result in diverse outlooks and a variety of mentorship opportunities for our students. Violin/viola faculty member, Sorah Myung has a busy musical career, and is in great demand as a teacher, coach, and lecturer. As with all our PMI faculty, she appreciates the mentoring and community aspect of PMI, saying, “I love mentoring, coaching others and building music programs in the community. Coming up with creative ideas to improve or to make something new in the community motivates me every day.”

Visiting faculty also bring new musical styles for our students to experience. Steve Treseler, Seattle-based saxophonist, composer, teaching artist, and author, gave our Jazz Intensive students a new experience through a style of music creation called Soundpainting in PMI 2023. “I play in Soundpainting groups with artists from all around the world, and love sharing the experience with PMI students,” says Mr. Treseler. “[Through Soundpainting,] each performance is a new journey, and making improvisation a community experience is less intimidating than asking individuals to play solos.”

From music and teaching styles to professional experiences, the diversity our visiting faculty bring to our community is one reason PMI is such a valuable experience for our students!

Partnerships to Broaden the Experience

Since 2019, PMI has been proud to partner with NOI+F through the creation of our Orchestral Learning Alliance (OLA). OLA allows our students to expand their views on music by learning from world-class visiting faculty and mentors – a robust learning experience unique to Pacific Music Institute. 

Richard Scerbo, NOI+F Festival Director, describes the depth of the partnership, explaining its goal of a full circle of mentorship with PMI students and NOI+F fellows. Having younger visiting faculty offers a different perspective and inspiration for our students, providing them the opportunity to learn what it’s like to be a young orchestral performer on the threshold of a professional career. Mr. Scerbo elaborates, “I’m so excited by what we’ve accomplished and the number of students that have been touched by this big idea that we’ve come up with.” 

This year, we’re fortunate to welcome two NOI+F fellows to PMI: Daniel Scoggins, Cello; and Tristan Toma, Percussion. Mr. Scoggins is returning for his second PMI, previously teaching at PMI 2022 and assisting with outreach to our local communities in Moloka‘i and Nānākuli. Mr. Toma is a Percussionist and Timpanist and graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. He is also a proud alumnus of Hawaii Youth Symphony and Pacific Music Institute. 

Markus Osterlund, a member of our brass faculty, is also a Hawai‘i native who returns home for PMI through NOI+F and OLA. In a recent HPR interview with Sharene Taba, he explains that, “through that partnership, I find my way from Maryland, where I teach at the National Orchestral Institute, to PMI. It’s a great opportunity for me to take what I learn in Washington, and what I play and perform on a weekly basis with the National Symphony Orchestra, and bring it back to the middle of the Pacific Ocean.” We appreciate the wealth of experiences that our NOI+F partners share with our students at PMI. 

Bringing Global Perspectives Back Home

Aside from Mr. Toma and Mr. Osterlund, several of our visiting faculty were born and raised in Hawai‘i and, in fact, alumni of Hawaii Youth Symphony and Pacific Music Institute! We love the opportunity to bring their enthusiasm for music and knowledge gained abroad back home to share with our keiki. Andrew Kam, violin faculty member, is a Hawaii Youth Symphony alumnus currently working in Washington. He stays busy as the Orchestra Director at Bellevue High School, Conductor of the Cadet String Orchestra with the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestras, and as a violinist with Symphony Tacoma and chamber music member of LMC Seattle.

Khullip Jeung, a faculty member of The Juilliard School Pre-College, Mannes College of Music, and Borough of Manhattan Community College, grew up in Honolulu and loves returning to Hawai‘i to teach at PMI. Of the PMI experience, he explains, “I think the atmosphere here is great. It’s really supportive and nurturing, and the faculty, staff, and students are great and amazing.” 

Another HYS and PMI alumna, viola faculty member Zoë Martin-Doike, loves returning to Hawai‘i to see the next generation of young musicians locally and beyond. In an HPR interview, she says, “it’s been so rewarding to watch the students grow and improve!” As a music educator who understands Hawai‘i’s local music education landscape, Ms. Martin-Doike brings a valuable perspective to students who want to pursue music. She details that “we’re so lucky in Hawai‘i to have such amazing talent; such amazing instructors, conductors, educators, performers. Everybody has so many skills to bring to the table, as well as a lot of expertise.” Her advice to high schoolers considering a college degree in music to look for specific teachers or educational programs that can help them mature into an older player, performer, or teacher. “The educators and the resources that we have in Hawai‘i are really fantastic, and I would say that I wish I made a little bit more use out of the great resources at hand when I was a young player.” We appreciate our visiting faculty who travel from afar to come back home and share their knowledge with our keiki!

Faculty Near and Far Make PMI Great

Our entire faculty at PMI contribute to the supportive musical community we have each summer. We are so grateful for the experiences and lessons they share with our students, creating unforgettable memories and learning. 

We can’t wait for PMI 2024; can you? If you’re as excited as we are, get a head start by reading about all of our esteemed faculty here. And be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss a single PMI update to your inbox about PMI 2024 and beyond.