Pow! Wow! Hawaii is more than just a yearly street art festival, but a cultural movement. Completing its fourth year, the event gathers world class artists together to create murals in Honolulu’s Kaka’ako neighborhood. Aside from the amazing artwork on display throughout the city is the Pow! Wow! School of Music (PWSOM) presented by Flexfit and Basecamp.

PWSOM brings together musically gifted and talented kids ages 13-18. To enter the program the kids must audition and commit themselves to a two week program, which consists of classes on composition, vocals, recording, performance and the music business with local and national musicians, teachers and music industry professionals. PWSOM gives these young musicians the opportunity to collaborate with each other and create original music leading up to a performance at Pow! Wow!.

This experience for the kids can be motivating and inspirational providing not only an atmosphere for them to be around other like-minded musicians and receive professional guidance, but also giving them a voice and recognition through the community to help further them towards a musical career. Their instructors volunteer their time towards a common goal to help each student find their groove.

During the program the 16 students are split in 4 groups to create a band. They learn about team work and collaboration in the process of creating music.

I decided to take head shots of each student, inspired by traditional school photographs you would see in a yearbook, and add a slight twist to them to showcase each musician’s personality. I then selected one photo of each student and had them printed out and framed and surprised the kids with a display at Lana Lane Studios, where the majority of the program took place. Matt from Vers Hawaii / Wooden Wave added his artistic touch with custom lettering to the canvas that the photos were hung on. Here is the Pow! Wow! School of Music Class of 2014.

I was fortunate to be assigned to document the Pow! Wow! School of Music by Flexfit. It was inspiring to see these young musicians create their music and I’m excited to see what lies ahead in their musical future. I hope to have the chance to document the school again next year.

Below are a few photo highlights from the Pow! Wow! School of Music with more posted on www.jpangilinan.com, www.photosbyjohnp.com and www.b-a-s-e-c-a-m-p.com.

Special thanks to Flexfit and Basecamp and Pow! Wow! Hawaii