Ka Papa ʻŌhiʻa Lehua claim Ihe


Photo by courtesy of Ka Leo o Nā Koa

The senior girls celebrate when they receive Ka Maka o ka Ihe after winning ʻAha Mele with 100.5 points.

The senior class of 2017 won this year’s ʻAha Mele song competition in Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Ka Papa ʻŌhiʻa Lehua won performing “Pehea Hoʻi Au” under the direction of senior Montana-Rae Vaught – who later won Ka Lei A Pauahi, the song leader’s award. This mele was written by Charles E. King as a love song.

The classes were judged on music, language, and presentation. The seniors won Ka Maka o Ka Ihe with a score of 100.5 and won the language award, Ka Hulu Kupuna, by .5 points with a score of 43.5 while the juniors and sophomores tied at 43 points.

“Their energy into the words they were singing paralleled perfectly with the words,” language judge Pūlama Collier said in regards to the seniors’ performance.

As for the music portion, they scored 23 out of 24 with the music judge Marlene Sai commenting that their “blend of voices collectively [were] together and harmonious.”

The junior class of 2018 performed “E Maliu Mai” under the direction of Tyson Haʻupu. Sophomore Brennan Ikaika Mendez conducted the class of 2019 through “Kuʻu Ipo Pua Rose,” and the freshman class of 2020 singing “Kuʻu Wā Liʻiliʻi” led by freshman Taj Joaquin.

All of the songs were chosen around the theme of Hoʻonanea and focused on the golden years of Hawaiian music, which was between the 1930s and 1960s.

The hōʻike portion of the evening had a vintage feel to it as the hula dancers were either wearing shiny grass skirts or aloha shirts. Seniors Lahela Mata-Goldmann, Kaitlyn Evans, and Emily Kāne performed solo dances, and there was a duet between seniors Joshua Chang and Kaʻena Wojcieski, as well.

At one point, over 200 viewers were watching the livestream on Ka Leo o Nā Koa’s Livestream feed. If you missed this year’s ʻAha Mele you can still catch the archived video by clicking here.