The Spirit of Aloha Tours is a travel group that takes Honor Band and Choir students from the mainland to enjoy the trip of a lifetime in breathtaking Hawaii. Originating in 2008 in the state of Arkansas, band directors Cathy Williams and Steve Warner, and choir directors LaJuana Warner and Judith Ledbetter, and their staff of directors kicked off their inaugural trip with much success. With a collective many years of music education and travel experience, the seasoned veterans worked closely with native Hawaiians to put the perfect Polynesian experience for their travelers. The Spirit of Aloha has now expanded to include neighboring state Missouri and hope to grow more in the future!
The Spirit of Aloha Honor Band and Choir is composed of top-notch student musicians who are invited to perform a patriotic concert at Pearl Harbor and then tour the USS Missouri. This educational opportunity allows students to grow exponentially as they explore first-hand the wonders of a new land while undertaking monumental moments from history and gaining a new appreciation for the greatest generation our country has ever known.
Experiences of our trip participants cannot be duplicated through film, texts, photographs, or websites – this is a life-changing experience that our travelers will never forget! Through large-group activities and tours all the way to independent excursion opportunities, travelers can build a trip to meet their specific interests while visiting the beautiful tropical paradise.
Please peruse our website, pictures, and feel free to email us to find more information! We look forward to sharing more about the Spirit of Aloha Tours with you soon!
To truly memorialize such sacred ground, the Spirit of Aloha Tours Honor Band and Choir participants rehearse to build just the perfect patriotic performance for visitors at the USS Missouri, location of the official surrender and signing of treaty papers by Japan to the United States at the conclusion of World War II.
Performers will tour Pearl Harbor, visit the museum, and view the historical documentary – taking viewers through the infamous morning of December 7, 1941, and aftermath. Our trip participants will then be ferried across the harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial. While visiting the watery tomb, Spirit of Aloha Tour members are able to witness the black tears of oil that still rise from the submerged vessel. Many of our trip participants often choose to leave behind their fresh flower leis to memorialize the lives lost.
While in Pearl Harbor, previous participants have been able to see famous aircraft carriers, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, the newly opened USS Oklahoma memorial, military guests of RIMPAC – the world’s largest maritime warfare exercise, and even the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
Our musicians have performed for national and international guests visiting the USS Missouri and been recognized each time for an outstanding job by the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc. While a very moving and emotional day, many previous participants will concur this is their favorite event.
Bringing new educational opportunities and experiences to our trip participants is one of the most important facets of this adventure. This trip has been designed by life-long educators to help broaden the learning landscape for our participants – young and old.
One of the biggest and best days offered is spent exploring the island and more specifically – the Polynesian Cultural Center. This 42-acre cultural explosion features lifestyles and customs from seven of the island nations of Polynesia: Tonga, Samoa, Figi, New Zealand, Tahiti, Marquesas, and Aotearoa. Each village features traditions and elements from their island home and offers visitors hands-on activities to broaden their experiences and continue cultural education!
Each day offers canoe tours in which viewers will catch a glimpse of traditional island dances and folklore, while each day concludes with a luau, complete with traditional island flair. To cap off the evening, our participants attend “Ha: The Breath of Life” – the stunning performance of more than 100 native Polynesians sharing their story through drama, traditional dance, music, and fire dancing.
Other exciting cultural opportunities presented to our participants include a Circle Island Tour, in which our guests will travel via motor coach with a tour guide to various sites throughout Oahu. Some of the famous destinations participants visit include the Dole Pineapple Plantation, historic Pali Lookout, the North Shore – as well as private beach Hawaiian BBQ!
To further the Hawaiian experience, participants can customize their trip by building various excursions to their packages to be as active and adventurous as you like or as relaxing and tranquil as you prefer. From snorkeling, parasailing, swimming with sharks and dolphins, climbing the historic landmark Diamond Head, surfing, or riding horses throughout the Hawaiian mountains, or shopping at any of the various outdoor markets or large name-brand retailers, to simply laying on the beach and enjoying the sound of the crashing waves – there is much to do and see on your tropical trip!