E ʽOliʽoli Kākou fills Keōpūolani with Christmas Cheer

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Photo by Daisy Draper

Brennan Mendez (eighth grade) and Pualalea Barrows (senior) both had solos in 'O Holy Night,' the last song at E Oliʻoli Kākou: A Christmas Concert at Keōpūolani, Dec. 12, 2013.

It was a night full of Christmas cheer at E ʽOliʽoli Kākou: A Christmas Celebration at Keōpūolani Hale on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.

The nearly full house quickly quieted when senior Daisy Aiwohi started the program by playing Silent Night on the piano.

Middle school students danced and sang Kalama’ula and Nuttin’ for Christmas.

Then, seniors Aaron Morton and Tobi Monden played Carol of the Bells, Feliz Navidad, and Christmas Time on the ʻukulele with sophomore Jordan Marciel, and  Kalea Borling joined them to sing Feliz Navidad.

The high school choir sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and choir members Sean Segundo and Kaira-Lee Davis both had solos in Mistletoe,  .

It was a full program and not easy to pull off a week after Nā Mele o Maui.

“The biggest obstacle was the time factor because we were just practicing for Nā Mele this whole time, and trying to fit it [E ʻOliʻoli Kākou] in between that and other performances, it felt like we did not have enough time to get everything to the point we wanted it to be,” said Mr. Dale Nitta, the high school choir teacher.

Despite his misgivings, the audience seemed to have a good time enjoying the music and participating in sing-along songs throughout the night.

Mr. Nitta said, “Everybody kind of pulled it together in the end, and I think one of the big things is the students started taking the responsibility of trying to work it out on their own rather than [having] me getting on their backs.”

Then the seniors of Hawaiian Ensemble sang three songs before the final song of the night, O Holy Night. It was a mass performance by the Hawaiian Ensemble and the high and middle school choirs. Eighth-grader Brennan Mendez and senior Pualalea Barrows were featured in solos.

“I’ve been in the Christmas concert since I was a sophomore every year,” Barrows said. “I had a lot of fun! This was my first year with a solo. I was nervous.”

The audience didn’t seem to notice hers or anyone else’s nerves as they applauded heartily at the end and left filled with the Christmas spirit.