Hall Of Fame Honorees Get Royal Treatment
This year's celebration to induct five more Hawaiian music Treasured Ones into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame began with a ceremonial luncheon event at the Hawaiian Regent Hotel Grand Ballroom. Under the chairmanship of Hall of Fame member Richard Rodby (Kemo`o Farms), a sumptuous buffet luncheon was arranged for the 150 members and guests who attended the April 29 affair.
New Hall of Fame Exhibit Panels
Arriving guests had an opportunity to view and read the newly refurbished Hall of Fame koa exhibit. The original five-panel "star" construction exhibit now includes all of the history of pre-contact chant, and the story and contributions of composer/musician Maddy K. Lam.
One of the new Year 2000 panels describes the lives and contributions of the four newly-inducted kahuna nui and priests of the Kahiko Era - several of whom predicted the arrival and dominance of the white man. The other is devoted to the biography and photo of Maddy Lam. As in past years, design and enhancements for the exhibit were created and produced by Robyn Buntin Galleries of Honolulu.
Special Luncheon Program
Emcee Harry Soria told the story of the inductees, and Maddy Lam's son, Clifford was presented with a koa sculpture noting his mother's admittance to the Hall of Fame by Hall of Fame president, Francis Keala.
A special section of the program was an overview of our E Mele Kakou (We Sing) Hawaiian music education project, which pilot at Princess Kaiulani Elementary School completed in early December. To the delight of the audience, a group of Kaiulani School 4th graders sang several numbers they had learned in harmony, a cappella. They were joined by their teachers, Noelani Mahoe, Nalani Olds, Van Diamond and Gary Kanaka. "The Kahauanu Lake Singers" presented Maddy Lam's songs "Ka Lehua Imilia" and "Healoha Ku`uipo"
Among the invited guests were a group of students from Kamehameha School, and the youth group from Kamakapili Church in Kalihi. Beloved entertainers Genoa Keawe and Irmgard Farden Aluli also attended the ceremony. Auntie Irmgard was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
A Memorable "5th Annual Ho`ohanohano"
The Year 2000 celebration of the the newest Hall of Fame inductees continued on May 10th at the Hawai`i Theatre. It was an intimate and enthusiastic audience, and this year's program produced and directed by Kahauanu Lake was perfection itself.
After the opening pule delivered by Royal Hawaiian bandmaster Aaron Mahi, the story of the four Kahuna nui, Prophets and High Priests was told while Kumu Hula Edward Kalahiki chanted, and the Men of Halau O Na Kipu`upu`u, costumed for the eras presented, performed on stage.
Perhaps the most moving tableau was the final one. It depicted the time of the priest Hewahewa, who, influenced by the recently arrived missionaries, became a Christian. Men and women dressed in the style of the mid-1800's missionaries, joined the chanters harmonizing to one of the earliest church hymns translated into the Hawaiian language.
Famous Performers, Favorite Songs
Emma Veary treated the audience to her most popular vocalizations, accompanied by concert pianist Dora Ah Chan, and Emma's daughter Robin danced to several of them. Even intermission was a treat, for The Royal Hawaiian Band, with vocalist Kathy Foy presented sing-along favorites on the lawn to the assembled crowd of theater goers.
The second half of this year's Ho`ohanohano was devoted to the long list well-known compositions by Maddy Lam. Nina Keali`iwahamana and `Iwalani Kahalewai, joined by Gary Aiko on bass and in song, and accompanied by Mahi Beamer on piano, performed such favorites as "Haili" and "Singing Bamboo". Haunani Apoliona, with program producer Kahauanu Lake on baritone `ukulele joined the group for "Aloha Ku`u Tutu" for which Na Kumu Hula Momi Kepilino and Vangie Kealoha Wong danced.
In a second setting, The Kahauanu Lake Singers, Walter & Luana Kawai`ae`a and Vernamae Perkins, accompanied by Kahauanu Lake, Arthur Akina and Keola Chan sang "Pua Ahiha" and "Nani Wenuse", to which Gordean Leilehua Baily danced. The duo of Al Kula Abiva and Sissy Lake also danced, as did the men of Halau O Na Kipu`upu`u, to "Home Kapaka". To the delight and applause of the audience, "Uncle K" himself sang Maddy Lam's "Maile Lei". To complete the lyrical evening, surprise guests from Michael Pang's Halau in Maui danced the familiar Kahauanu Lake Trio signature song "Kealoha", Maddy Lam's composition for which the late Auntie Lei Collins wrote the lyrics.
Although this year's audience was smaller than for earlier Hall of Fame annual concerts, it was the friendliest and most energized, as it consisted of devotees of traditional Hawaiian music. They knew each other, and the performers on stage.
In this reviewer's eyes and ears at least, the Year 2000 program was perhaps the most beautiful and satisfying of any of the past five years. Maybe it was because the singers on stage had personally known the composer whose songs they presented. Their loving performance reached into our hearts.
Reviewed by Marjorie Scott