Students showcase talents at Nā Hōkū o Kamehameha Maui

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Photo by Kalani Ruidas

Ho’eu performs at Na Hoku, Kamehameha Maui’s annual talent show, Nov. 19, 2011 in Keopuolani. The band won first place, $100, trophies, and a certificate.

By Kalani Ruidas, Features co-editor

Students wowed the light crowd at the sixth annual Nā Hōkū talent show last night, Nov. 19, 2011, at Keopuolani Hale, and the judges were faced with a difficult decision as they chose the winners.

“Some of these kids are ready for recording contracts and roles on Broadway,” Ms. Robberson said.

The last act of the night won first prize and $100. Juniors Taylor Kaaukai, Aaron Dela Cruz, Kevin Goo, Maleko Lorenzo and Chayce Tancayo, performed together as Hōʻeu. Playing an original song, “You’re The One For Me,” they featured the vocal stylings of Goo, who was also playing drums.

The lighthearted song about love had a mellow reggae beat, and the five cool cats in dark glasses and aloha shirts elicited cheers and applause from the audience.

The night began with a musical number by junior Kaili Mossman. Mossman came on stage in costume and sang “On My Own” from the Broadway show Les Miserables. Stills from the musical were projected behind her. She delivered a solid vocal performance, backed by power and stage presence.

“I think I did well considering how much I practiced. It’s very different from singing in a musical. There’s a lot more pressure when you’re on your own,” Mossman said.

She won third place and $50. All winners also received certificates and trophies in addition to their monetary prizes.

Mossman was followed by seniors Philip Nishioka and Rachel Bega. Bega sang an Adele medley which included “Crazy for You,” “Day Dreamer” and “One and Only.” Nishioka accompanied her vocals on guitar, and later that evening, they were awarded second place, earning $75.

Bega also performed a solo contemporary dance number in the second half the show, choreographed by Ms. Lee Ann Lawrence. She entranced the audience with leaps, pirouettes, and emotional body shapes performed to Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Bega said she was confident in her moves and satisfied with her performance.

“I felt my dancing went well. I had to switch some of the choreography, but overall I felt good about the decisions I made,” she said.

Another act on the bill last night was sophomore Sean Segundo. He showed off his trilingual skills by singing Kealiʻi Reichel’s “Ka Nohona Pilikai” in Hawaiian, Japanese and English.

Seniors Ciara Kahahane and Wyatt Bartlett also. Their entry was an original song entitled “Paradise Girl.” Kahahane said that the inspiration for the song’s lyrics came from an experience she had with a friend of hers who was dealing with a troubled relationship.

“It was hard for me to see her that way, but there wasn’t much I could do. So like many people who unable to change things, I wrote a song about it,” Kahane said. Bartlett accompanied Kahahane on bass.

Sophomore Neʻula Aarona also performed solo, singing “So High” by John Legend. Her sweet voice and intensity was well met by the audience.

Between the acts, ASKSM President Christopher Kim and Vice-president Kaleihoku Kubota told jokes and gave away door prizes. ASKSM also sponsored refreshments at the brief intermission.

While the judges – Mr. Duane Iwamura, Ms. Kristen Handalian, Mr. Michael Oliver, Ms. Lokelani Patrick and Ms. Nancy Robberson – tallied the scores, Kim and Kubota lip sync’ed a duet to Irving Berlin’s “Anything You Can Do.” The “singers” claimed to be able to outdo each other in everything from holding a note to baking a pie.

Though the entertainment was top-notch, attendance was low, with only about 100 audience members to enjoy the performances on a Saturday night.

Mr. Oliver said, “They should really be sharing these talents they have with the whole school.”

After the winners were announced, they all stayed on the stage singing and dancing together with lead vocals by Nishioka, Aarona and Bega in the spirit of huliamahi.

“I felt like there was more of a ‘everyone just do a good job’ instead of a competition tonight, and I thought it was really nice to see all of the band members singing together at the end…I thought tonight was a great hit,” Kim said.