Kamehameha Maui ʻŌpio students Win Nā Mele O Maui 2013 Title
By Wendy Osher
Kamehameha Schools Maui’s ʻŌpio students in Grades 9-12 won the overall title at this year’s Nā Mele O Maui Song & Art Competition.
The 41st Annual was sponsored by the Kāʻanapali Beach Resort and took place on Thursday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
Pāʻia Elementary Grades 2-3, won the Hawaiian Language Award.
The students were among a list of 23 classes from 16 schools in Maui County that competed in the event, which is dedicated to the cultural preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian mele, language and the arts.
This year’s event centered around the theme “Nā Wahi Pana Aloha I Hawaiʻi,” and showcased the beloved and legendary places in Hawaiʻi through art and song.
Students performed two songs in Hawaiian — one selected by the committee and the other selected by the participating group.
A complete list of results released by program organizers includes the following:
Overall Winner: Kamehameha Schools Maui ʻŌpio Division Grades 9-12
Hawaiian Language Award: Pāʻia Elementary Division II Grades 2-3.
Division I Grades K-1: Competition Song: Puamana
- First Place: Kula Kaiapuni O Maui ma Pāʻia. Teacher: Ipolani Mederios. Choice Song: Aloha ʻIa Nō ʻO Maui.
- Second Place: Emmanuel Lutheran School. Teachers: Andrea Kaio, Amber Parrish and Liz Morales. Choice Song: Mauna Kahalawai.
Division: II Grades 2-3: Competition Song: Kokeʻe
- First Place: Pā’ia Elementary. Teacher: Kuʻulei Hokoana. Choice Song Nohili E.
- Second Place: Wailuku Elementary. Teachers: Chaz Casro and Rosie Johnson. Choice Song: Mauna Kahalawai Kahalawai O Maui.
‘Ōpio Division Grades 9-12: Competition Song: Pālehua
- First Place: Kamehameha Schools Maui. Teachers: Dale Nitta and Kalei Aʻarona Lorenzo. Choice Song: Uakea O Hāna.
- Second Place: Molokaʻi High School. Teacher: Kalei Kawaʻa. Choice Song: He Mele No Hina.
Division III Grades 4-5: Competition Song: Hila Hanakahi
- First Place: Kamameha Schools Maui. Teacher: Clark Tuitele. Choice Song: Kahoʻolawe
- Second Place: Kula Kaiapuni O Maui. Teacher: Kuʻuʻini Mederios. Choice Song: Hanohano nō ʻo Hawaiʻi.
Division IV Grades 6-8: Competition Song: Kaimana Hila
- First Place: Kamehameha Schools Maui. Teacher: Leimamo Nitta. Choice Song: Kalamaʻula.
- Second Place: Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Kalama. Teacher: Wailani Farm. Choice Song: Kipahulu.
Event organizers say student choirs were judged on language proficiency, musical competence, song interpretation, stage presence, and overall enthusiasm.
Classes from kindergarten to grade twelve participated including: three classes each from Molokaʻi and Upcountry Maui, four from East Maui, six from West Maui, and seven from Central Maui.
Judges for this year’s competition included: Reiko Fukino, music judge; Kahuli Eldridge, language judge; and Kamaka Kukona, overall judge.
Nā Mele O Maui is made possible through community support from Kā‘anapali Beach Resort, Akakū Maui Community Television, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association – Maui Region, and Mele Ukulele.
The contest was established in 1972, and in 2002 was honored with the prestigious Kahili Award by the Hawai`i Visitors & Convention Bureau’s “Keep It Hawaiʻi” annual awards program.
Event organizers say the competition continues efforts to “foster eduction and enlightenment of Hawaiʻi’s heritage” among the youth of Maui County.