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January 15, 2014
  • Emma Veary Music Scholarship
Photo Caption: L-R Dr. Laurel Roberts, Robyn Kneubuhl (Emma’s Daughter), Emma Veary

Honoring a musical legend

imageHonolulu-born Emma Veary studied opera in New York City, toured in Broadway shows, and performed throughout the world. As a headliner at top Waikiki hotels, she became known as the “Golden Voice of Hawaiʻi.” She has many best-selling albums with a repertoire that has ranged from opera to classics like “Kamehameha Waltz.” 

Among her many accomplishments, she was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and has also received the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ms. Veary is now retired on Maui, and on occasion will sing with her daughter, a jazz singer and songwriter/composer.

An inspired gift

“Emma Veary is an icon in the history of music in Hawaiʻi. She has a music fan base that is truly global, from Hawaiʻi to the Mainland to Japan and even to Europe.”

Dr. Keola Donaghy, UH Maui College Music Department faculty member who is assisting with the Institute of Hawaiian Music

Forty years ago, Dr. Laurel Lee Roberts was a college student. She remembers sitting on the beach outside the Halekulani Hotel to hear the beautiful operatic range of Emma Veary.

“Ms. Veary would tell her paying audience that the next song was for ‘friends on the shelf’ or for her ‘scholarship friends’,” said Roberts. “She would then turn and sing to her fans on the beach who could not afford to buy a ticket to a Waikiki concert.”

While decades have passed, those memories are still strong for Dr. Laurel Lee Roberts, who is now an attorney in Southern California.

“I wanted to show my deepest appreciation to Ms. Veary for my fond memories through this named scholarship, and give opportunities to Maui youth to create even more beautiful music for future generations,” added Roberts.

Dr. Roberts has started the scholarship, and hopes others will join her in supporting UH Maui College students who have demonstrated excellence and potential in music.

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.