Seniors reclaim Ka Maka o Ka Ihe


Senior women celebrate their win at ʻAha Mele on April 27, 2012 in Kanaʻiaupuni Gymnasium. The senior class of 2012 were the victors this year, performing “ʻŌiwi Medley” under the direction of senior Keala Kama.

Kris Galago

By Hoku Krueger, news co-editor

PUKALANI – The Kamehameha Schools Maui senior class of 2012 won this year’s ʻAha Mele song competition and had the honor of recapturing the coveted ihe that they won two years ago, at  ‘Aha Mele 2010. ʻAha Mele took place in the Kanaʻiaupuni Gymnasium on Friday, April 27, 2012.

“I cried. That says it all,” senior Ciara Kahahane said. She and many of her classmates cried out and burst into tears as Headmaster Lee Ann DeLima announced their victory toward the end of the evening.

The seniors performed “ʻŌiwi Medley” under the direction of senior Keala Kama. The lyrics of the song call for the Hawaiian people to come together so that their nation and language continue.

KSM Hawaiian language teacher Kumu Kalei ʻAʻarona-Lorenzo and Seabury Hall music director Stephen Haines worked with the senior class to prepare them for ʻAha Mele.

“Everyone in the room could feel their energy. There was not a doubt in my mind that they would win,” Kumu Kalei said.

The seniors won with a score of 38.5 out of 40. Students were judged on music, spirit and language. Music judge Ms. Reiko Nalei Fukino wrote on her scoring sheet that the seniors had, “Beautiful, strong voices.”

Spirit judge Ms. Eleanor Worth said that the seniors were “excellent, very focused and intense.”

KSM’s Kumu Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier served as the language judge.

Last year’s winners, the class of 2014, sang “Ka Naʻi Aupuni” during the competition under the direction of sophomore Tevin Tam.

Sophomore Daisy Aiwohi was satisfied with the results. “They [the seniors] earned it. Everyone was good, but they got us this year,” she said.

Freshman Kaiani Kīʻaha led the class of 2015 through “Kulāiwi.” The junior class of 2013 performed “E Nā Kini & Hawaiʻi Aloha” under the direction of ʻIwalani Kaaa.

“During our song, there were some parts that were off, but I think we did well. I think the seniors deserved it,” junior Aaron Watson said.

The students performed “Nā Aliʻi Puolani” for the mass number, a song that brings glory to Maui’s chiefs.

This year’s ʻAha Mele was centered on the theme Huliāmahi, meaning to come together as one. Hōʻike Pāheona, a digital presentation of works created by KSM art and photography students, opened the night with musical accompaniment by the Hawaiian Ensemble.

Ka Papa Hula danced “He Aloha Nō, He Aloha” and “E Mau Ana ka Haʻaheo.” Hawaiian Ensemble, along with select dancers, performed “Mālama Mau Hawaiʻi,” and Nā Mele Choir sang “Pua ʻĀhihi.”

The students began preparing for this year’s ʻAha Mele at the beginning of March, practicing with their classes in their vocal parts twice a week. Many classes took the challenge of perfecting their songs into their own hands by practicing during lunch as the date drew near.

The class of 2012 is the first class to claim the Ihe twice since it became a tradition in 2009. The prized spear was carved by former KSM Principal Dr. Warren Hitz.

“With the adversity that this class has been through, it’s amazing that they’ve come together at such a crucial time. I’m so proud to be a part of this class,” senior class counselor Mr. Ladd Akeo said.