Annual Christmas Concert hits center stage

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Photo by Tre Cravalho

Junior vocalist Kailee Kaeo performs "Feliz Navidad." She also and two other songs at the annual Christmas Band Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Keopuolani Hale.

Sounds of the Kamehameha Maui bands filled Keōpūolani Hale during the annual Christmas Band Concert put on by band teacher Mr. Siuai Laufou on Tuesday night.

The 8th-grade band was up first. It consisted of 40 students, 14 of whom were in their first year of band. Along with the 8th-grade musicians, there were two 7th graders who performed in the concert. Mr. Laufou said that their “spectacular” skills earned them inclusion in the performance.

After the 8th-graders finished their four songs of the evening, the high school’s Concert Band took the stage, playing “Music of Christmas Eve” and “Christmas and All that Jazz.”

After that, high school singers accompanied the band on four numbers. Junior Kailee Kaeo performed the first vocal solo, “Respect,” which received an enthusiastic response from the audience.

Next was “Valerie,” performed by senior Aeris Joseph-Takeshita, who also got a loud round of applause. Mr. Laufou said that since Takeshita resembled the original singer of “Valerie,” Amy Winehouse, so much, that he began to call her Amy.

Senior Cole Schafer played a guitar solo, and a duet by Takeshita and Kaeo ended the Jazz Rock Ensemble portion of the concert.

The Jazz Rock Ensemble and the Concert Band combined to bring the night to a close, performing three songs: “Feliz Navidad,” “White Christmas,” and “Rock On Merry Gents.”

Senior bass player Lukela Kanae, who is a three-year Jazz Rock Ensemble member, was proud to say that this was a memorable event for him.

“Being a bass player to me is the most awesome thing in the whole band,” Kanae said. “It’s the foundation and you can’t build a building without having the foundation set.”

Mr. Laufou said he puts on these Christmas Concerts to showcase the talented students of Kamehameha Maui. He also feels that it’s important to bring Christmas cheer to the audience.

“The whole reason I throw this concert is so that it can fill the hearts of those who come to hear [it] with a joy for the Christmas holidays,” he said.