Donald Anthony Man-Heong Pahukoa Awa Yap – May 5,1930 – April 8, 2021
Donald Anthony Yap was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1930 and built a national reputation as a consummate conductor, pianist, and arranger. After graduating from Punahou School he studied at the prestigious Eastman School of Music where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano.
After a short stint teaching at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, he went on to a career leading orchestras around the country. He conducted on Broadway, including the original run of My Fair Lady, the Melody Top in Milwaukee, Meadowbrook in New Jersey, and Arie Crown in Chicago. He worked with names such as Betty Grable, Mickey Rooney, Rita Moreno, Leonard Nimoy, Bernadette Peters, Holland Taylor, Don Ho, and many others.
Returning to Hawai’i in 1980’s, he taught piano at the Punahou Music School of which he would become director. He continued his work in Hawai’i including leading a number of productions at Diamond Head Theatre, scored and conducted Eaton Bob Magoon Jr’s 13 Daughters, and teamed up with local artists including Richard Smart, Wisa D’Orso, Terrence Knapp, and many others.
He is survived by the Liu, Ka’uhane, Webster, Chong, and Akaka ohana, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and world-wide friends and family.
Donations in Donald’s memory may be made to the Diamond Head Theatre or Hawai’i Youth Opera Chorus.
Arrangements Provided By: Diamond Head Mortuary Chapel
Notice #: 0001330050-01