A Deeper Insight Into PBA's Rock Band
Thanks to PBA’s rock band elective, temple service is not the only place where music can be heard on campus.
The elective dates back to 2012, when it was created by a handful of students with Japanese instructor Loren Otake acting as their advisor.
“It started after school where the students were interested in playing music, playing rock and they needed a place to practice and an advisor, so I became one,” Otake said.
Head of school Josh Hernandez Morse added that the elective was added to provide a place for students who wanted to pursue their passion for music.
“We knew that we wanted it because we wanted a music program,” he said.
After a brief hiatus, Hernandez Morse decided to relaunch the rock band elective this year as part of the school’s commitment to the arts. He also added an acapella elective for singing enthusiasts and brought back Brandon Nitta, an alumnus from the class of 2014, as an instructor.
Nitta was in the rock band elective when he attended PBA and that experience inspired him to attend the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California. That gave him the opportunity to expand his musical background and also learn about the technical side of making and producing music.
“It was inspiring and fun for me,” Nitta said of his two years in Los Angeles.
Still, Nitta “missed Hawaii a lot” and regularly kept in touch with Hernandez Morse, who eventually offered him a job and the chance to return to the PBA community.
“At that time I was in that kind of crossroad where I was debating if I should move back home or stay in LA,” Nitta said.
Now he gets to do something that has been a part of his life since he was seven years old.
“I started off with ukulele, then I got into guitar, and then I started getting into singing, and then after that it was all audio,” he said.
When he isn’t teaching at PBA, Nitta enjoys writing music that reflects his current mood.
“I like to write about certain things that are happening at that time and I’ll sing it that way,” he said. “I’ll try to put in as much emotion or as much realism as I can.”
The current classes that Nitta is teaching are a challenge to him, but he loves it. He appreciates how he is able to help bring music back to the school.
“The music thing just kind of died out a little at PBA and coming back, I’m just trying to rejuvenate it,” he said.
Hernandez Morse invited Nitta back to the school to lead the music classes since he is a certified musician who knows how to run a studio.
“I thought that he was the perfect person,” he said.
Hernandez Morse’s goal for the music program at PBA is for other students to be aware of it and want to attend the school because of it. He also wants to hire more teachers who are specialized in the different arts.
“The goal is to have a working artist as part of the program,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of things the students will create.”