Masters Graduate Assistant
Ocean Akaka is a Hawaiˋi native that hails from the small town of Wahiawa on the island of Oˋahu. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Music in Wind Band Conducting where he is a student of Professor Thomas Leslie at UNLV. As a Graduate Assistant with the UNLV Division of Wind Band Studies, Mr. Akaka assists with the UNLV Star of Nevada Marching Band, the Runnin’ Rebel Basketball Pep Band, and serves as co-conductor of the UNLV New Horizons Band.
Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Mr. Akaka received his Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Concentration in Oboe Performance from The University of Hawaiˋi at Mānoa. During his undergraduate studies, Mr. Akaka served as the principal oboist of the University of Hawaiˋi Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Akaka was an in-demand educator and clinician with guest conducting appearances and oboe masterclasses at various middle schools and high schools in Hawaiˋi. As an oboist, Mr. Akaka studied with J. Scott Janusch, principal oboist of the Hawaiˋi Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his undergraduate studies, Akaka served as an army bandsman with “Hawaii’s Own” 111th Army Band based out of Pearl City, HI. During his time with The 111th Army Band, although he mainly contributed to the group as an oboist, he played trumpet in the rock combo group “Drive On,” euphonium in the ceremonial marching band, and also served as a guest conductor of the concert band. Outside of his duties with the band, Akaka actively served with The Hawaiˋi Army National Guard’s Honor Guard team where he assisted with Military Funeral Honors as a ceremonial team member and live bugler. Akaka’s military decorations include: The Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and The Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal.