Frequently Asked Questions

The Pacific Music Institute is a program run by Hawaii Youth Symphony (HYS). HYS is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization and is Hawaii’s only statewide orchestra program. We have been in continuous operation since 1964.  All PMI staff and faculty are employed by HYS. To learn more about HYS, visit our website:

The PMI Core Program for Winds, Brass, Percussion, and Senior Division Strings, will take place at McKinley High School. This includes Concert Band, Senior Division String Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra.

Both the PMI Solo & String Quartet Program and Junior Division String Program will take place at the Music Dept. of the UH-Manoa campus.

All large ensemble performances will be at the McKinley High School Auditorium.

An amazing thing about PMI is our low student-to-teacher ratio! In general, the student-to-teacher ratio (for instrumental sectionals) is approximately 1:9, though the exact ratio depends on a number of factors, including teacher availability and pedagogical style.

Dormitory lodging is being arranged for visiting (non-Oahu) students only, ages 14-18, only. If you live on Oahu, you will not need to stay in a dorm.

There are no entrance auditions to be accepted to the core PMI programs, or Jazz Band class. However, all students must play a short seating audition on the first day (July 6). Wind and brass players will be selected for Symphony Orchestra based on their seating audition results.

A separate audition is required for placement in the Solo & String Quartet program.

Category: Auditions

Flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, baritone, and tuba.

Violin, viola, cello, bass

Horns: Saxophones (alto, tenor, bari); trombones (tenor & bass); trumpets

Rhythm Section: Keyboard/Piano, Guitar (acoustic w/ pickup or electric); Bass (upright, bass guitar, or electric upright); Drum Set; Percussion (auxiliary, Latin, or vibes)

Category: Jazz

Yes, all SSQ students are required to participate in the regular PMI session.

Category: SSQ

Yes! Volunteers are highly appreciated. Please send an email to Aris Doike, Operations Manager, at

Typical volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Hallway monitoring
  • Student check-in/check-out
  • Taking attendance
  • Distributing sheet music
  • Distributing snacks/lunches
  • Moving stage & percussion equipment
  • Setup, breakdown, and cleanup