Students Honor ʻMele Aloha ʻĀina,ʻ Patriotic Songs of Hawaiʻi

December 11, 2019, 1:46 PM HST · Updated December 11, 1:46 PM
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Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Pā’ia Kindergarten and 1st graders take the stage. Photo courtesy: Charlene Kauhane.

The melodic voices of keiki choirs echoed through the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater on Tuesday during the 46th annual Nā Mele O Maui Song & Art Competition.

This year’s contest theme was “Mele Aloha ‘Aina,” patriotic songs about Hawai’i, while the choice song theme was “Lei Nāhonoapi’ilani,” which honors songs of West Maui.

Established in 1972, the song contest strives to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through mele (song), language, and arts.

The contest is open to all private and public school students from kindergarten to 12th grade throughout Maui County. Each class is required to perform two songs in Hawaiian. The first is chosen by the committee to fit the theme, with each grade division assigned a different song. The second is a song about West Maui selected by participating classes to reflect the theme.

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“‘Oiwi E” was the contest song for the kindergarten to 1st grade division; 2nd to 3rd graders sang “Ka Na’i Aupuni;” “Kulāiwi” was assigned to the 4th and 5th graders; 6th to 8th grade sang Mālama Mau Hawai’i;” and the high school students sang “Kū Ha’aheo, E Ku’u Hawai’i.”

Here is a list of the song contest winners: 

  • Overall Winner: Kamehameha Schools Maui (Grades 4 to 5)
  • Language Winner: Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Maui ma Pā‘ia (Grades 2 to 3)
  • Division 1 (Grades K to 1): first place: Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Pā‘ia, second place: Emmanuel Lutheran
  • Division 2 (Grades 2 to 3): first place: Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Pā’ia, second place: Kamehameha Schools Maui
  • Division 3 (Grades 4 to 5): first place: Kamehameha Schools Maui, second place: Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Pā’ia
  • Division 4 (Grades 6 to 8): first place: Kamehameha Schools Maui, second place: Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Lahaina
  • ‘Opio Division (Grades 9 to 12) Kamehameha Schools Maui, second place: Lahainaluna High School

Below is a list of the art competition winners: 

Two Dimensional Art:

  • First place – Skylar Masuda (12th grade); H.P. Baldwin High School; Instructor – Janet Sato
  • Second place – Schuyler Barcoma-Suyat (11th grade); Maui High School
  • Third place (tie) – Kyla Mahinay (12th grade); H.P. Baldwin High School; Instructor – Janet Sato
  • Third place (tie) – Malia Kaiahua-Sato; H.P. Baldwin High School; Instructor – Roselani
    Aiwohi
  • Honorable Mention – Owen Siminiski; H.P. Baldwin High School; Instructor – Roselani
    Aiwohi

Three Dimensional Art:

  • First place – Teija Tuitele (11th grade); Kamehameha Schools Maui; Instructor – Lori Guntzel
  • Second place – Ka‘ililau Pu‘u (11th grade); Kamehameha Schools Maui; Instructor – Lori Guntzel

 

  • Overall art winner: Skylar Masuda (12th grade); H.P. Baldwin High School; Instructor – Janet Sato

Classroom choirs were judged on musical competence, language proficiency and
interpretation, stage presence, and all-around enthusiasm. Prizes are awarded based
on overall scores within grade level divisions. A combination of scores for the two songs
determined the winner in each grade division and the overall winner of the entire
competition.

Keola Donaghy was the overall judge, Luana Kawa’a served as the language judge, and Robin Kealiinohomoku-Kerr was the music judge. Ekela Kaniaupio Crozier emceed the event.

Art competition judges were Charlene Kaʻuhane, president, Na Mele O Maui,
Steve Brinkman, photographer, and Todd Campbell, woodcarver.

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