Lahainaluna band, auxiliary are headed to Holiday Bowl

Strike up the band

Lahainaluna High School majorettes and color guard members join the band and fans in celebrating a touchdown during Friday night’s 52-0 win over King Kekaulike High School at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku. The majorettes are the only students tossing and twirling batons in the Maui Interscholastic League. Band Director Myron Carlos said that he didn’t know if any other schools in the state had twirlers but that the University of Hawaii Band has one. Lahainaluna’s band and auxiliary numbers 120 students. Jon Shigaki is the assisting staff member. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Lahainaluna marching band, majorettes and color guard will be performing the upbeat “Pina Colada Song” at the 39th Holiday Bowl Parade on Dec. 28 in San Diego and joining the halftime show of the collegiate postseason football game.

This a return trip for the Lunas, who attended the parade 10 years ago. The Lunas contingent received its current invitation in March and will be joined by an all-star band from Kauai and a unit from Kamehameha Schools Hawaii island in the parade from the state, said Noe Masuda, whose son plays trombone in the band and is a member of the band boosters club.

Making the trip will be 91 students and 12 chaperones, she said, adding that the school’s music department has grown in the last couple of years. A petition by Friends of LHS Music, requesting a second band teacher, noted “record high” enrollment this school year of more than 300 students for the program headed by Music Director Myron Carlos.

Carlos said this is the largest number of students he’s had in his 20 years at Lahainaluna. He did not, however, get his second teacher despite the enrollment spike.

Those making the San Diego trip are young. About a third of the band are freshmen, Carlos said Tuesday.

Lahainaluna Drum Major Isikeli Tafea leads his musicians in a first-half song Friday. He is one of three drum majors in the Lunas’ band. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“Considering the size and the issues of having the bigger group, they are actually not too bad,” Carlos said. “There is confidence in numbers.”

The band is about double the size that participated in the Holiday Bowl Parade a decade ago, Carlos said. The Maui News reported 50 students and chaperones took that trip in 2007.

It was cold, about 40 degrees on parade day, the report said.

The Lunas contingent will leave for San Diego on Christmas Day. The parade, three days later, will be televised on the USA Network, cable Channel 555 in Hawaii. It is known as the largest balloon parade in the country.

Before the parade, the Lunas group will be walking the 1-mile parade route and join the Battle of the Bands, which includes a field show competition. The winner will be part of the Holiday Bowl pregame show.

The Lunas group has been practicing almost daily and raising funds since the summer, Masuda said.

The group has raised $50,000 and needs about $120,000 to cover travel expenses, she said. Tax-exempt donations may be made to the nonprofit Friends of LHS Music at

The band will be marching in San Diego to “Escape,” better known as the “Pina Colada Song,” made famous by Rupert Holmes, said Carlos. Parade officials were seeking a ’70s feel to the music.

Carlos is handling the music arrangement, a band alumnus came up with the drum cadence and the majorettes and color guard are working on their own choreography.

Mauians will get a chance to see the Lahainaluna marching band, majorettes and color guard performing “Escape” and their routines Thursday in the Maui Fair Parade, Carlos said. His band is No. 9 in the lineup for the annual parade down Kaahumanu and Kanaloa avenues.

* Lee Imada can be reached at

* This article includes a correction from the original published on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017.


* Lahainaluna band. The Lahainaluna band, majorettes and color guard will be joined by an all-star band from Kauai and one from Kamehameha Schools Hawaii island from the state in the Holiday Bowl Parade on Dec. 28. A story published Wednesday on Page A1 and continued on Page A4 incorrectly listed the Hawaii bands to appear in the parade.

The Maui News apologizes for the error.

* The Maui News wants to promptly correct errors in fact or make clarifications on information appearing in the newspaper. To report an error or clarification, please call 242-6343 or send email to