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Kamehameha Schools 4th and 5th grade singers take Na Mele overall title

Contest theme was “Mele Aloha ‘Aina,” patriotic songs about Hawaii

Kamehameha Schools Maui 4th- and 5th-grade singers, under the direction of Clark Tuitele, captured the overall title in Na Mele O Maui on Tuesday in Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Their choice song was “Aia Lihau Ko Lei Nani.” KAILEY SAGER photos

The Maui News

Kamehameha Schools Maui grades 4 and 5 singers, under the direction of Clark Tuitele, were named the overall winners in the 46th Na Mele O Maui Song & Art Competition on Tuesday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Maui ma Pa’ia grades 2 and 3 singers captured the language award at the only countywide Hawaiian song and art competition dedicated to cultural preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian mele, language and arts, a news release from organizers of the event said. Their teachers were Kalei Kaniaupio-Crozier, Kulia Kaluau, Kah’iola Harders, Ke’ala Kaiwi and Kai Mana Nakoa.

In the art competition, 12th grader Skylar Masuda of Baldwin High was named the overall winner. Her instructor was Janet Sato.

The song contest began in 1972 and schoolchildren from kindergarten to 12th grade in public and private schools countywide may participate in the competition. Each class is required to perform two songs in Hawaiian — the first is the contest song chosen by the committee to fit the theme with a different song for each grade division, and the second is a song about West Maui selected by the class to reflect the theme.

Lahainaluna High School finished second in the high school division under the direction of Pomaika‘i Krueger (shown), Ilima Greig-Hong and Lori Gomez-Karinen.

The song contest theme was “Mele Aloha ‘Aina,” patriotic songs about Hawaii. The choice song theme was “Lei Nahonoapiilani,” which honors songs of West Maui.

The contest songs were “‘Oiwi’E” for kindergarten-1st grade; “Kana’i Aupuni,” grades 2-3; “Kulaiwi,” grades 4-5; “Maalama Mau Hawai’i,” grades 6-8; “Ku Ha’aheo, E Ku’u Hawai’i,” grades 9-12.

Choirs were judged on musical competence, language proficiency and interpretation, stage presence and all-around enthusiasm. Prizes were 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 competition.

The judges were Keola Donaghy, overall judge; Luana Kawa’a, language judge; and Robin Kealiinohomoku-Kerr, music judge. Ekela Kaniaupio Crozier was the emcee.

The song competition division winners, place, teachers and choice song follow:

• Kindergarten-grade 1. Kula Kaiapuni O Pa’ia, first, Kaleikaumaka Nauka and Kamaka’eu Williams, “Lele I Moku’ula”; Emmanuel Luth-eran, second, Andrea Kaio and Maile Sjostrand, “Mauna Kahalawai.”

• Grades 2-3. Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Maui ma Pa’ia, first, Kalei Kaniaupio-Crozier, Kulia Kaluau, Kaha’iola Harders, Ke’ala Kaiwi and Kai Mana Nakoa, “Mauna Kahalawai”; Ke Kula Ha’aha’a e Kamehameha I Maui, second, ‘Alohi Delima, “He Inoa no Ka’iulani Leleiohoku.”

• Grades 4-5. Kamehameha Schools Maui, first, Clark Tuitele, “Aia Lihau Ko Lei Nani”; Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Maui ma Pa’ia, second, Leina’ala Kuloloio Vedder and Kalei Oliver, “Ho’ona’auao.”

• Grades 6-8. Kamehameha Schools Maui, first, Eva Palikiko, Kanani Franco, No’eau Kalima and Kui Gapero, “Lei Nahonoapiilani”; Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Lahaina, second, Kanoelani Steward and Kekaialoha Keahi, “Mahalo Lahaina.”

• Grades 9-12. Kamehameha Schools Maui, first, Dale Nitta, Kalei ‘A’arona and Clark Tuitele, “Na Ali’i Puolanil”; Lahainaluna High School, second, Ilima Greig-Hong, Lori Gomez-Karinen and Pomaika’i Krueger, “Halona.”

The judges for the art competition were Charlene Ka’uhane, president of Na Mele O Maui; Steve Brinkman, photographer; and Todd Campbell, woodcarver.

The two-dimensional art winners, place, grade, school and instructors follow:

Skylar Masuda, first, 12th grade; Baldwin High, Janet Sato; Schuyler Barcoma-Suyat, second, 11th grade, Maui High School; Kyla Mahinay. tied for third, 12th grade, Baldwin, Sato; Malia Kaiahua-Sato, tied for third, Baldwin, Roselani Aiwohi; Owen Siminiski; honorable mention, Baldwin, Aiwohi.

Three-dimensional art winners, place, grade, school and instructor follow:

Teija Tuitele, first, 11th grade, Kamehameha Schools Maui, Lori Guntzel; Ka’ililau Pu’u, second, 11th grade, Kamehameha Schools Maui; Guntzel.

Na Mele O Maui sponsors include Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association, EACH Foundation, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association — Maui Region, Mele Ukulele and Akaku Maui Community Media.

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