About Summer Music Works

Now in its third year, Summer Music Works was initiated by the University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu to promote high school graduation, college readiness through music creation among select musicians from Hawaiʻi DOE high schools.  Schools served in 2014 include Nānākuli, Wai‘anae, Ānuenue, Farrington and Waipahu High Schools.  The 2014 program is directed by UH West O‘ahu music faculty Dr. Jon Magnussen and implemented with the collaboration of Boys and Girls Club of Hawai‘i (The Wai‘anae Clubhouse).  Made possible through a Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education with additional support from a University of Hawaiʻi Diversity and Equity Initiative Award and the UH West Oʻahu Music Fund, the 2014 program lasts five weeks–June 3 through July 3–and aims to improve the quality of life of our community by:

  • Providing our an awareness of skills helpful for success in college and in life;
  • Supporting the growth of new musical talent at the pre-college level; and
  • Providing an awareness of potential career paths in music;

2014 Partners

U.S. Department of Education, Title III helps eligible Institutions of Higher Education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

Boys & Girls Club of Hawai‘i inspires young people to become responsible citizens. Their role is to create a safe place for kids to grow, provide mentoring by a professionally-trained staff and caring volunteers, nurture character development and life-enhancing skills, and provide hope and opportunity.

The University of Hawaiʻi Diversity and Equity Initiative Award has served the University of Hawaiʻi campuses for more than a decade implementing a University strategic goal that honors and respects the differences and contributions of its students, faculty, staff and administration. Projects funded by the Diversity and Equity Initiative address issues on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and culture.

Running Start is a statewide program that provides an opportunity for academically qualified juniors and seniors to enroll in college classes through the University of Hawai‘i system as part of their high school coursework. This unique partnership between the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System allows public high school students to attend college classes during the fall, spring, and summer while earning both high school and college credits.

The No‘eau Center for Writing, Math and Academic Success at UH West O‘ahu provides academic support through tutoring and workshops that help students succeed. The center’s programs focus on life-long learning and the belief that all students are able to develop critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills as they transition into the workforce. In addition to the classroom experience at the University, students benefit from individualized attention, working with small study groups and participating in innovative activities that promote learning and literacy.


Previous and Founding Partners

Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the Early Learning Council, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education, and the University of Hawai‘i System that is working to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve career and college success. P-20 partners share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawai‘i’s educational outcomes in an increasingly global economy.

The goal of Hawai‘i P-20 is for 55% of Hawai‘i’s working age adults to have a 2- or 4-year college degree by the year 2025. Hawai‘i P-20 seeks to achieve this by:

  • Having all children reading at grade level by third grade
  • Strengthening the rigor of the high school curriculum
  • Increasing student access and success in college
  • Facilitating program and policy development based upon research and data


Composer Jon Magnussen is the Director and Lead Instructor of Summer Music Works. His music for the concert hall, drama, dance and film has been commissioned and performed nationally and internationally by organizations including American Ballet Theatre, Chamber Music Hawaii, Ebb and Flow Arts (Maui), Hawaii Youth Symphony, The Juilliard School, Limón Dance Company (NYC), Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles), New Juilliard Ensemble, Oahu Choral Society, and The Shakespeare Theatre (Washington, D.C.). Born in Sierra Leone and raised on the islands of Kaua’i and O’ahu, Magnussen started composing music in high school and his music has since been published by Oxford University Press, released on the Albany Records label and funded by organizations including the Argosy Foundation, the Library of Congress, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Committed to helping prepare the next generation of Hawaii-grown artists for a future in music, Magnussen believes in the importance of early access to music composition instruction.  Magnussen holds doctoral and masters degrees from The Juilliard School, and degrees from Conservatoire Nationale Supérieure de Musique de Paris, and Cornell University.  He has taught at The Juilliard School, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hawaii Pacific University, and is Associate Specialist for Music at UH West O‘ahu.

91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707