Ulu wins Nā Hōkū 2014


Photo by Daisy Draper

Ulu is made up of Kaulike Pescaia, Kepa Revelle, and Kapahanau Palakiko. They won first place for the ninth annual Nā Hōkū competition.

Nā Hōkū was a success for Kamehameha Schools Maui, with acts that included musical performances and slam poetry. Nā Hōkū took place on the quad yesterday, Feb. 13, as part of the annual Spring Spirit Week festivities.

The Hawaiian musical trio Ulu placed first and won a pizza and ice cream party for themselves and ten friends. Carly “Kaiani” Kiaha placed second, winning an ice cream party for herself and five friends, and Tevin Jon Tam and Damian Kuluhiwa placed third and received gift cards to Starbucks.

There were five acts this year, consisting of three musical performances and two slam poems.

“It was good,” junior Kaden Tamashiro said. “It was different. People did different things this year other than singing like usual.”

The musical acts were “Ulu” (freshman Dayle “Kaulike” Pescaia, senior Kapahanau Palakiko, and freshman Joseph “Kepa” Revelle), a duet by sophomore Aeris Joseph and senior Sean Segundo, and two original rap songs by Tam with backup by Kuluhiwa.

The two slam poets were juniors Carly “Kaiani” Kiaha and myself.

“This [year] more people got to express individual talents like the slam poetry,” sophomore Justin “Kanoho” Delos Santos said.

Between each act, Ammon “Aukai” Monte and Shane Borge, the emcees of Nā Hōkū, led the crowd in the audience participation game Gimme, Gimme.

The tasks they asked the audience to “gimme, gimme” included doing the dougie and singing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from the movie Frozen. One required a student to do an impersonation of a teacher, so Austin Kan Hai got up and pretended to be Mr. Kevin O’Brien.

The mood of the event swung from comedy to emotional and back again from act to act. Tam and Kuluhiwa got the entire crowd to sing along to Tam’s original song “Imai deVault” and put the audience in a good mood in contrast to the slam performances that made the audience think.

“I was literally in tears during parts of it because I just found it was touching the things people shared about themselves, how much they gave of themselves,” Mrs. Naomi Ashman said.

The Nā Hōkū talent show is usually a night event, but Mrs. Ashman, student activities coordinator, said they were asked to move it to the school day because “a lot of the students don’t see the talent of our students [at night].”

Due to the recent flip of A and B schedule days, Nā Hōkū was switched to Wednesday from its originally scheduled Thursday. Then, Mrs. Ashman found that the middle school had chapel in Keōpūolani Hale on Wednesday, so the event was moved to Ke’eaumokupāpāiaheahe Dining Hall. Eventually, it ended up in the quad.

“All these changes, but it was awesome,” Mrs. Ashman said.