The Legacy of a princess

Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

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HomeI MUA Newsroom Celebrate the spirit of lei day with a kanikapila sing-along on May 15
The theme of Nā Mele Lei is that of a traditional lei day celebration.
Celebrate the spirit of lei day with a kanikapila sing-along on May 15

Kamehameha Schools Kaʻiwakīloumoku Cultural Event Series invites one and all to celebrate the spirit of lei day throughout the month of May, with a nostalgic look at the history of lei day through music.

Nā Mele Lei: A Kanikapila Sing-Along will take place on Monday, May 15, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ululani Hale at Kaʻiwakīloumoku.

Rather than a lecture or lots of talking, the event is a chance to come together and celebrate through music. Organizers will share the background of favorite Hawaiian and Hapa Haole songs with lyrics and chords on screen.

“Bring your instruments, your ʻohana and your voices for an enjoyable evening of music-making,” shares Dr. Randie Fong, Kamehameha Schools Executive Culture Officer. “And of course, don’t forget to wear a lei!”

Lei Day started in 1928 as a promotion of Hawai’i by writer and island personality Don Blanding.  Every school in Hawaiʻi, public and private, used to celebrate May Day with a lei day king and queen and their court, and people wore leis and really celebrated that special day. 

Nā Mele Lei looks to capture that traditional feeling through song.

The Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center is located on the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus. The May 15 event is free and open to all. For more information, please contact Jamie Fong, Kaʻiwakīloumoku Manager at 808-842-8655 or by email at

Strategic Plan 2020
SP2020 is a five-year strategic plan that will guide Kamehameha Schools from 2015 to 2020. The plan marks a starting point toward KS’ Vision 2040, which envisions success for all Native Hawaiian learners.

This story addresses Goal 3 of SP2020 which calls for KS to cultivate a Native Hawaiian identity within its learners. It also supports Action 5 of Kamehameha’s Ten Actions for fiscal year 2017, calling for KS to integrate cultural principles.

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