Friday, March 20, 2020, 7 p.m. • On KGMB and here online
7 p.m. — Hō‘ike Highlights: A Kamehameha Schools Tradition
8 p.m. — I Mau ke Aloha ‘Āina: 100 Years of Song Contest
9 p.m. — Talk Story: 100 Years of Song Contest

Earlier in March, Kapālama Po‘o Kula Taran Chun announced the difficult decision to suspend this year’s Song Contest. In its place, Hawaii News Now aired special programming celebrating 100 years of Song Contest on March 20. The whole program is available as video on-demand through the end of March here online. Below is information about the event as it was originally envisioned.


I Mau Ke Aloha ‘Āina: 100 Years of Song Contest

Composed and performed by students, these mele commemorate today’s kīpuka aloha ‘āina, helping to define who we are for the next 100 years.

As we reflect on a century of Song Contest, we pause to celebrate where this beloved tradition has delivered us today. From humble beginnings on the steps of Bishop Hall in Kaiwi‘ula, much has changed in 100 years, not only in venue but in value. What originated as an acapella singing competition in an increasingly-threatened native tongue has matured into a practice of mele and mo‘olelo in our revitalized ‘ōlelo makuahine. Song Contest has brought us – the lāhui – to renewed understandings of our cultural identity – an identity no longer fading, but eager to thrive in contemporary contexts. One hundred years’ worth of students have sung the songs of their kūpuna, preserving invaluable data that has revitalized our people to our current standing. Those mele are the pages of our history, kept alive at the tip of the tongue. On this, the 100th Song Contest, we realize that we are kūpuna for the century to come. We affirm that there are more pages to our story. And thus, we know there are more mele to be written. In doing so, we ensure that we continue to tell our stories of today, for tomorrow. What mele will be sung about us 100 years from now? Kamehameha high school students had the opportunity to work with haku mele to create ten new compositions commemorating important stories of our lāhui today. These stories are the kīpuka, the oases, of aloha ‘āina that continue to grow across our pae ‘āina. These mele, composed and performed by students at Song Contest 2020, capture and commemorate these kīpuka aloha ‘āina, helping to define who we are for the next 100 years.

Program

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Oli Ho‘okipa
*Pule
*Ho‘onani I Ka Makua Mau
*Hawai‘i Pono‘ī
‘Ōlelo Ho‘okipa

HO‘OKŪKŪ O NĀ WĀHINE
Girls' Competition

HO‘OKŪKŪ O NĀ KĀNE
Boys' Competition

HO‘OKŪKŪ O NĀ PAPA
Combined Class Competition

INTERMISSION — 15 minutes

NĀ PAPA I HUI PŪ ‘IA
Combined Classes

Hō‘ike

Hā‘awi Makana
Presentation of Awards

*Ka Hīmeni Kula
Alma Mater


KA WAIHO‘OLU‘U O NĀ PAPA
Papa 12: ‘ōma‘oma‘o;
Papa 11: poni
Papa 10: ‘ula‘ula
Papa 9: melemele


Nā Mele o ka Ho‘okūkū

Song directors collaborated with students and kumu to create music videos of their new compositions.

Ho‘okūkū o nā Wāhine
Girls’ Competition

Sophomore women

Director: Isabella Kealohilani Poepoe
Home: Kailua, Oʻahu
Mele: Nā Kia Aloha ʻĀina o Waimakaohiʻaka

“Nā Kia Aloha ʻĀina o Waimakaohiʻaka, like all of the other mele in this year’s competition, is special because it is for our future generations and to lift our lāhui. We tell the stories of the land special to us so our keiki will know better how to take care of the land.” —Isabella, sophomore women director

View lyrics ↓

 
Eia nā kia aloha ‘āina, eō mai
Mai Kamawaelualani, eō mai
Ka wai o Manowaiopuna
Me nā ko‘iaweawe o uka
I ka pā aheahe ‘o Wai‘ono
O Waimakaohi‘iaka
O Waimakaohi‘iaka

Ko kula uka, ko kula kai, eō mai

Ka pa‘akai ‘opae‘ula, eō mai
Ke kai mālinolino a‘o Kanaloa
E ola mau Kauakahiunu
Ka ho‘okupu waiwai, he makana
No nā po‘e i aloha i ka ‘āina
No nā po‘e i aloha i ka ‘āina

Pa‘a ke aloha a ke kupuna, eō mai

I wai kū ha‘aheo, eō mai
Nā lo‘i e hānai ai ka lāhui ē
Ka ‘āina momona ‘o ‘Ukula
Ka ‘āina ho‘ōla ‘o Hanapēpē
Ke kaimana hulali a‘o Kaua‘i
Ke kaimana hulali a‘o Kaua‘i

View English translations ↓

 
Here are the guardians of the land, answering the call
From Kamawaelualani, we answer
The waters of Manowaiopuna
And the light moving rain of the uplands
To the soft Wai‘ono breeze
Of Waimakaohi‘iaka
Of Waimakaohi‘iaka

Tradition continues between the uplands and the sea,
we answer the call
The salt sweetened by the brine shrimp, we answer
The calm sea of Kanaloa
Long live Kauakahiunu (heiau)
A humble offering, a gift
For the people that love the land
For the people that love the land

Secure is the love for the source, the elders,
we answer the call
We stand proud, we answer
The children that nurture the nation
The rich land of ‘Ukula
The healing land of Hanapēpē
The shining gem of Kaua‘i
The shining gem of Kaua‘i

Junior women

Director: Keila Mokulehua
Home: Kapolei, Oʻahu
Mele: He Aloha no Kalaupapa

“He Aloha No Kalaupapa is a significant mele for the Hawaiian community because it commemorates Kalaupapa and the patients who lived there. If it weren’t for the thousands of Native Hawaiians who sacrificed living a normal life, we, as moʻopuna and as the next generation, wouldn’t have access to the resources that they did not have.” —Keila, junior women director

View lyrics ↓

 
He aloha kēia no Kalaupapa

‘Auhea ‘oukou e nā koa ahuahu, eō
Ahuwale Kalawao me Kalaupapa
Noho papa i ka ua Ko‘iawe
He awe aloha no nā kau a kau

Hū mai ke kai uliuli o Kawaluna
Ka līpoa lilo i ke kai ‘okia
Hao mai Ka‘upumoa‘ula
Heahea mai ke oha o Mōkapu me ‘Ōkala

Kalakala ka ‘ili i ka malu hala ‘ula
‘Ula ‘ole i ka lihi o ka pō
Pūlamahia ka hulili o Ho‘olehua
Ua ao ka pō, e ao mālamalama

Eia nā leo aloha ‘āina o Kalaupapa
E kūpa‘a mau ana nā pali hāuliuli
I ke kuamo‘o o ia kaha
No ka po‘e i aloha i ka ‘āina

Puana ‘ia ke aloha no Kalaupapa
Ka ‘āina kāhelahela i ke Ko‘iawe
He awe aloha no nā kau a kau
‘Auhea ‘oukou e nā koa aloha ‘āina, eō

View English translations ↓

 
Our aloha for Kalaupapa

Where are you our strong and growing warriors, respond
Kalawao and Kalaupapa are revealed
Dwelling for generations in the Ko‘iawe rain
A precious love, always and forever

The deep blue sea of Kawaluna surges
The līpoa is lost to the separating seas
Ka‘upumoa‘ula blows with force
Mōkapu and ‘Ōkala welcome with affection

The skin is rough in the shade of the red pandanus
Not red at the edge of night
Cherished is the sparkle of Ho‘olehua
The night has become day, an enlightened day

Here are the patriotic voices of Kalaupapa
The dark cliffs are steadfast and loyal
To the backbone of this place
This is for you, the people who love the land

The refrain is told of our love for Kalaupapa
The vast land in the Ko‘iawe rain
A precious love, always and forever
Where are you our strong and growing warriors, respond

Senior women

Director: Hannah Asano
Home: ‘Aiea, O‘ahu
Mele: I Ola Kaho‘olawe

“In this day and age, our generation is constantly looking for ways to have a better future. This mele is a great example of how our people made, and are still making, the efforts to improve our future lives. This mele was composed to encourage and to show others that there’s still hope.” —Hannah, senior women director

View lyrics ↓

 
E lana mālie ‘oe i ke kai o Kanaloa
He ‘āina aloha nui ‘ia a ka lāhui
E hui, alu like i ola Kaho‘olawe
E ō mai e nā hoa aloha ‘āina, e ō mai ē!

Eō! (Eō e Kaho‘olawe!)
Eō! (Eō e Kohemālamalama!)
Eō! (Eō e Kanaloa!)

Mai ka lā hiki a ka lā kau
He ‘āina weliweli, a he ‘āina aloha
Kaumaha ka Uakea, he waimaka
Pā mai ka makani haowela
Eia Kaho‘olawe
Hānau hou ‘o Kanaloa

Hui:
I ola Kanaloa
I ola kākou
Eō!

‘Eu mai nā ‘iwa lanalana
Ma Kuheia i ‘āuna ai
‘Au nā koa hao kila e ho‘omalu mai
‘Awekuhi lawe i nā pua hinahina
E alu like ai
Nā hoa aloha ‘āina

Puka mai Makali‘i, he au no Lono
Ho‘i i ka piko hole pelu o Kanaloa
He ala i ka hiki, he ala loa
Ua lawe nō a lilo ku‘u Moku
Ulu nā pua aloha ‘āina
Ola mau ‘o Kanaloa

Eō!
Eō!

‘Ane hiki mai, ‘ane hiki mai, eō

View English translations ↓

 
There floating calmly in the sea of Kanaloa
Is an island beloved by the lāhui
You gather us, unified so Kaho‘olawe lives
Heed the call, patriots of this place, respond!

Respond, Kaho‘olawe!
Respond, Kohemālamalama!
Respond, Kanaloa!

From the beginning of time
A ravaged land, a land that is loved
The Uakea rain is heavy with tears
The wind blows, burning the skin
Here is Kaho‘olawe
Kanaloa is born once more

Hui:
So Kanaloa thrives
So we all thrive
We are here!

The ‘iwa birds stir and rise
At Kuheia they gather and assemble
The brave swim and seek protection
The tentacle of Kanaloa brings us
To join together
The aloha ‘āina

Makali‘i bursts forth, the time for Lono
Let us return to the piko of Kanaloa
This is the path to the future
My land has been returned, won back
The aloha ‘āina grow and prosper
Kanaloa will live on forever

We are here!
We are here!

We are arriving, we are arriving, respond!

Ho‘okūkū o nā Kāne
Boys’ Competition

Sophomore men

Director: Gunner Sekio-Kaialau Hatcher
Home: Nānākuli, O‘ahu
Mele: ‘Āina Waiwai

“This mele honoring Kaua‘i looks at the dynamics of wai within the context of aloha ‘āina. Recognizing that water has the power to both destroy and create, this new composition reminds our lāhui to honor and respect the relationship between kānaka and the natural elements.” —Gunner, sophomore men director

View lyrics ↓

 
He aloha Wai‘oli i ka‘u ‘ike
I ke one hāli‘i o Mahamoku
‘O Hīhīmanu kū kilakila
‘Ai ka manu a‘i luna

‘U‘ina ka wai o Nāmolokama
I ka ua nui, i ka ua loku
He aha ka ‘imina a nā menehune?
‘O ka lama kū ia i Māmalahoa

‘Olu‘olu ka wai o Lumaha‘i
Me nā lehua o Lulu‘upali
A luna a‘e au o Kilohana
‘Alawa iho ana iā Maunahina

Ka ipo laua‘e o Makana
‘Ōahi welo na ka Unukupua
Ke ‘ala mokihana e moani nei
Me ke onaona o nā hala o Naue

‘Auhea ‘oe e ka ua nui o Hanalei
Me nā ‘āina waiwai o Halele‘a
Puana ‘ia ku‘u mele aloha
No ka po‘e i aloha i ka ‘āina

View English translations ↓

 
Beloved is Wai‘oli
On the sandy expanse of Mahamoku
Hīhīmanu stands majestically
Attractive to all admirers

The water of Nāmolokama resounds
In the pouring rain of Hanalei
What are the menehune searching for?
For the flaming torch on Māmalahoa

The water of Lumaha‘i soothes me
Along with the famous lehua of Lulu‘upali
I stand above Kilohana
Bearing witness to Maunahina below

Sweet-natured lover of Makana
Streaming firebrands of the Unukupua wind
Mokihana essence perfumes the air
Coupled with the fragrance of the hala groves of Naue

Heed my call, O great rains of Hanalei
And treasured, bountiful lands of Halele‘a
I utter this song of love and appreciation
For the stewards of this land

Junior men

Director: Seth Asano
Home: Moanalua, Oʻahu
Mele: He Waʻa, He Moku

“Hōkūleʻa is still on a journey to bring this whole world together with every destination. This newly composed mele, He Waʻa He Moku, is about bringing different cultures together strengthening us all.” —Seth, junior men director

View lyrics ↓

 
He wa‘a, he moku
He moku, he wa‘a
He kuleana nō

Holo aku ē ka wa‘a
I ka moana nui ākea
Ua ‘imi i ka ‘āina kupuna
Ho‘i pono me ka na‘auao

Auē, ua hiti ē
Ua hiti ē, Hōkūle‘a ē
Auē, ua hiti ē

Hālāwai i ka ‘alihilani
Ea mai he moku lā ē
Lū nā hōkū i ke ākea lani
Hānau ‘o Hāloa, he kama

Auē, ua hiti ē
Ua hiti ē, Hawai‘iloa ē
Auē, ua hiti ē

‘O Hawai‘i ku‘u kulāiwi
Mai ka lā hiki a ka lā kau
Ola ke kanaka i ka ‘āina
Ka wai ola mau a Kāne

Auē, ua hiti ē
Ua hiti ē, Makali‘i ē
Auē, ua hiti ē

Puana ku‘u mele aloha
No nā ‘aukele holokai ē
Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a
No ka po‘e i aloha i ka ‘āina

Auē, ua hiti ē
Ua hiti, nā ‘ohana wa‘a ē
Auē, ua hiti ē

Ua pae aku nō
Eō nā holomoana!
Eō!

View English translations ↓

 
The canoe, is an island
The island, is a canoe
It is a responsibility

The wa‘a traveled
Throughout Moananuiākea
Seeking out ancestral land
And successfully returning, enlightened

Alas! They have arrived
Hōkūle‘a has arrived
Alas! They have arrived

It is at the meeting of sky and sea
Where an island emerges
Stars are cast across the heavens of Wākea
Born is Hāloa, a child

Alas! They have arrived
Hawai‘iloa has arrived
Alas! They have arrived

Hawai‘i is my homeland
From the rising to the setting sun
The life of our people depends on our land
On the ever flowing waters of Kāne

Alas! They have arrived
Makali‘i has arrived
Alas! They have arrived

Here ends my song of affection
For those brave ocean voyagers
Unfurl the sails, launch the canoe
This is for you, the people who love the land

Alas! They have arrived
Our canoe family has arrived
Alas! They have arrived

We have landed
Respond, my voyagers!
Answer the call!

Senior men

Director: Taisamasama Keahiwela Ka‘imina‘auao-Eteuati
Home: Anahola, Kaua‘i
Mele: Ka Leo Kupa o ka ‘Āina

“Ka Leo Kupa o ka ‘Āina recognizes the history of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and its applications for the future growth and perpetuation of our lāhui by recognizing it as the language of our kūpuna, our ‘āina, our iwi and the structure that upholds our history and mele.” —Taisamasama, senior men director

View lyrics ↓

 
Hanohano ka leo kupa o ka ‘āina
Ke kāhiko ‘oi kelakela o nā moku
Mikololohua mai Hawai‘i a Kaua‘i
Kauahe mikioi piko o Lehua

Hui:
‘O ka ‘ōlelo ka ‘aiali‘ilani (e ola ai)
Ka mana nui ‘oia‘i‘o (e lanakila ai)
E noke mau i ka make‘e ‘Ōlelo Makuahine
Ku‘u lei momi mau loa

Waiwai ka no‘eau hulu kūpuna
Pa‘ahana i ka ‘olu o La‘i Aloha
‘Ō‘ili ka waiho a ka wena āiwaiwa
‘Īkoi welo mau nō nā mū‘ō

Ua pa‘a, ua paepae ke kahua hale
Hale ua noe o ka uka o Mānā
Leo pū‘ā punua ho‘ōla mauliola
I ō mau a mau ku‘u kulāiwi

Ho‘okūkū o nā Papa
Combined Class Competition

Freshman co-ed

Director: Keolamauloa Pilayo
Home: Kamuela, Hawaiʻi
Mele: Pualu i ka Pono o nā Wai

“The message of our mele, Pualu i ka Pono o nā Wai, is to not give up on our culture. We can’t hit a roadblock and then just stop. We have to be like the water and continuously flow. When water is blocked by a damn, it will still move.” —Keolamauloa, freshmen co-ed director

View lyrics ↓

 
E Kānehoalani ē,
E hō mai i ko mālamalama
I ao maila ‘o Wailuku
I ka malu ‘ōhū o Kāne.

Hui:
Eō, e ka hū, e hui like mai
A pualu i ka pono o nā wai;
E hālana a‘e ka mana‘o
I ke au o kēia mua aku.

E ka makani Ho‘olua,
Ho‘olale i ke Kili‘o‘opu;
‘O ka ua noenoe o nā pali
Hā‘ale i ka wai o Waihe‘e.

E nā wailele hune o Waiehu,
Wai hiwahiwa i ke alo pali,
Wai aukahi, wai lāhui
Kahe i ka poli o Poli‘ala.

E nā pōki‘i inu wai ‘awa‘awa
E ka po‘e i aloha i ka ‘āina,
Ua hiki Waikapū a i Mā‘alaea
Ua ea, a he māealani.

View English translations ↓

 
O Kānehoalani,
Grant forth your radiance
So that Wailuku might become illuminated
Under the rising protection of [Mauna] Kāne.

HUI:
Respond, O people, join in unity
And come together for water rights;
May thoughts and ideas overflow
For the future that lies ahead.

O Ho‘olua wind,
Incite the Kili‘o‘opu breeze;
The misty rain of the cliffs
Rippling down amongst the waters of Waihe‘e stream.

O misty falls of Waiehu,
Beloved waters amidst the face of the cliffs,
Waters which are made to flow as one, protected waters
Flowing through the embrace of Poli‘ala.

O younger siblings who drink of the brackish waters
O people who are patriotic for the land,
The waters of Waikapū stream have reached Mā‘alaea
They rise, and ascend upward toward the heavens.

Sophomore co-ed

Director: Chase Kaleopono Kamikawa
Home: ʻAiea, Oʻahu
Mele: Hulihia Papalauahi

“Hulihia Papalauahi is about aloha ʻāina. Aloha ʻāina connects all because it is in our blood as Hawaiians. Hulihia Papalauahi is both an anthem and healing song for the people of Papalauahi in Puna who have seen so much happen in that landscape. We are paying homage to that community and all they have been through while also paying honor to the land that truly belongs to Pele.” —Chase, sophomore co-ed director

View lyrics ↓

 
Nāueue Puna i ka ulu hala
Nākolokolo ka uka o Keahialaka
Nakeke ka Pu‘ulena a puni ka honua
Ka honua ha‘iha‘i a Paoa
A Kali‘u lā, holo
A Honua‘ula lā, holo
Pau mai Waiapele

Hui:
Hulihia Papalauahi, lauahi ‘ena‘ena
‘Ena‘ena i ke ahi, ke ahi a ka Wahine

Huahua‘i ka lehu ‘ula
‘Ōlapalapa ka pā‘ū ‘ula
Wiwili ka pua lau‘ī a he ‘ula
‘O ka ‘ula kapukapu o ke ahi lā
A Kaueleau lā, holo
A Kauaea lā, holo
Pau mai Wai‘ōpae

Ho‘iho‘i ke aloha i ka ‘āina
‘A‘e‘a‘e Hi‘iaka noho i ka lae
Ka moku lehua liliko i ke ao
I ke ao Pelehonuamea
A Kaniahiku lā, holo
A Malama lā, holo
Pau mai Waiwelawela

‘Eli‘eli kapu, ‘eli‘eli noa!

View English translations ↓

 
The pandanus groves of Puna shake
The uplands of Keahialaka rumble
The Pu‘ulena wind rattles across the land
The earth is cracked open by Paoa
To Kali‘u it went
To Honua‘ula it went
Waiapele is destroyed

Hui:
Papalauahi is overturned, devastated and aglow
Burning from the fires of the Woman

A plume of ash erupts forth
The skirt of molten lava flashes
And twists like the flower of the ti leaf
It is the sacred red glow of fire
To Kaueleau it went
To Kauaea it went
Wai‘ōpae is destroyed

Love restores the land
As Hi‘iaka residing on the promotory returns
The lehua grove glistens in the light
In the domain of Pelehonuamea
To Kaniahiku it went
To Malama it went
Waiwelawela is destroyed

‘Eli‘eli kapu, ‘eli‘eli noa!

Profound is the kapu, profound is the release!

Junior co-ed

Director: Noe Hussey
Home: Kailua, Oʻahu
Mele: Kuʻu Maha Lehua

“The lehua is one of the most culturally significant plants for Hawaiians; it is affiliated with multiple akua and practices and is in danger of disappearing due to Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death. Kuʻu Maha Lehua reminds us to consider the ʻōhiʻa lehua as more than just a species. It is a part of our ʻāina, but it is also a part of our culture.” —Noe, junior co-ed director

View lyrics ↓

 
Noho ana i ka uluwehiwehi
Nā manu ‘uwalo o ka uka
Lehua ‘āpane me ka pua kea
Pāpahi lei kilipohe i luna
Na ka makani hali ‘ala o Puna
E hea mai ana e ala!

Ua kapu ka lehua i ka Wahine
Ku‘u maha lehua pō uahi
Uē ka leo o ke kūmakua
Kulu wai lehua o Hōpoe
Manuhe‘u ke kino lau ‘ōhi‘a
E hea mai ana e ala!

Hō mai ana ho‘i ua ola
Ua ho‘i nā wāhine kui lei
E nihi ka hele, i kua na‘u
I mālama i ka mauli ola
Hū a‘e ke aloha i ka ‘āina
E hea mai ana e ala!

View English translations ↓

 
Residing in the verdant forest
Are the birds of the uplands, calling out
And blossoms of dark red and white
Form a dew laden adornment placed above
It is the fragrant wind of Puna
Calling us to rise!

The lehua is reserved for the Woman
My lehua grove is enshrouded in smoke
As parent trees moan in lament
Lehua nectar softly falls, tears of Hōpoe
The ‘ōhi‘a are bruised and damaged
Calling us to rise!

Bring forth a time of healing
The women who string lei have returned
Proceed carefully — let me bear this responsibility
In order to protect our source of life
Love for this land swells within
Calling us to rise!

Senior co-ed

Director: Josias Pilināmakaika‘oia‘i‘o Ka‘upu Fronda
Home: Mānoa, O‘ahu
Mele: Ola nā ‘Ōiwi Aloha ‘Āina

“This new mele represents the past, present and future of our culture. In today’s modern society where so many things are about looking inward and towards one’s own views and opinions, this song recognizes that we would not be the people we are today without our ancestors, while also illustrating the importance of setting the next generation up to lead our people.” —Josias, senior co-ed director

View lyrics ↓

 
Aloha e ku‘u one hānau
E mau loa i ka mālamalama
A pūlama mau i ka lei ho‘oheno
Lei hanohano a‘o nā kūpuna

Hui:
E ola nā ‘ōiwi ē
E ō nā iwi a‘o ku‘u iwi
‘O ke koko a‘o ku‘u koko
Me ke ēwe a‘o ku‘u ēwe
Me ke ēwe a‘o ku‘u ēwe

E ala mai e ku‘u lāhui ē
Nā koa o ke aloha ‘āina
E kū kia‘i mau e nā mamo aloha
A‘e kuleana like kākou

View English translations ↓

 
Love to my birthsands
May you remain ever-vibrant
And always care for the cherished lei
Honorable adornment of the elders

Hui:
The natives thrive
Endure forever, bones of my bones
Blood of my blood
Kin of my kin
Kin of my kin

Arise, my nation
Warriors who love this land
Continue to stand and protect, beloved descendants
And bear this responsibility together


The Moʻolelo of Song Contest

Moolelo

Song Contest is unique to KS — a century-long tradition that involves all high school students engaging in musical competition. Laura Brown, who served as director of music at Kamehameha Schools from 1926–1947, stated that “the objectives of the Song Contest are to build up the repertoire of the best in Hawaiian music for the cultural heritage of any student who attends Kamehameha; to develop leadership, cooperation, and good class spirit; and to give students the use of their singing voices and to give them pleasure in singing as a means of expression.”

In its infancy, the girls held their song competition in front of the Assembly Hall, and the boys competed in front of Bishop Hall with the first Song Contest taking place in 1921. When the School for Girls’ campus on Kapālama Heights was completed in 1931, separate contests for boys and girls were held in the auditorium.

In 1952, the first combined contest of the School for Girls and School for Boys Senior Division took place in Kekūhaupi‘o, the newly constructed fieldhouse. Song Contest eventually moved to the Neal Blaisdell Center (formerly known as the Honolulu International Center) in 1964 and has been attended by capacity crowds there ever since.

A highlight of Song Contest is the Hō‘ike, a multi-faceted production designed to entertain and inform the audience while the judges complete the arduous task of tallying their score sheets. Hō‘ike serves as an exhibition of the beauty of Hawaiian mele and hula, and also incorporates some contemporary flair as a balance to the more traditional Song Contest format.

Song Contest Awards

Awards
  • The first Song Contest was held at the Kamehameha School for Boys in 1921. A cup named for George Alanson Andrus, a former director of music at the school whose life’s work inspired the idea of an annual song competition, was offered as incentive in the competition.
  • The following year, both the boys and girls held Song Contests with their respective campuses. E.G. Scoville, a visitor to the Islands from Watertown, Connecticut, was so impressed with the girls’ singing performances that she donated the New England Mothers Cup for the winner of their competition.
  • In 1967, an additional trophy was offered by the Kamehameha Schools Trustees in honor of Charles Edward King, a 1891 graduate of the School for Boys. The trophy is awarded to the class that claims the combined competition.
  • The Louise Aoe McGregor Award, named for a member of the first graduating class of the Kamehameha School for Girls in 1897, was first presented in 1972. It recognizes the student director who has made the most significant contribution to the class in organizational ability, leadership, assistance to others, and persistence.
  • The Richard Lyman, Jr. ‘Ōlelo Makuahine (mother language) Award recognizes excellence in the use of the Hawaiian language through song. Lyman, a KS trustee from 1959–1988, was particularly interested in the preservation of Hawaiian language and culture.
  • The Helen Desha Beamer Award recognizes the best musical performance. Donated by the Kamehameha Alumni Association, the award honors the substantial contributions of Helen Desha Beamer KSK’1900 to the lexicon of Hawaiian music.