Memories of my class trying to win the song contest held every year at Nanaikapono School sixty years ago make me yearn to hear the familiar sounds of Hawaiian music. Returning to Nanakuli we can experience that same old country feeling and pick up the Hawaiian words we used so freely then. The opportunity to recapture these moments will be offered at the 23rd Annual Songfest at Nanakuli High School on Thursday, March 7th, 7:00-9:00 P.M. in the school’s gym, located at 89-980 Nanakuli Avenue.
Jean Nishi, Student Activities Coordinator, shares her enthusiasm for this event. “It is open to the public and it is free! Bring your family and friends! This event was started 23 years ago by teachers in our school because they wanted to perpetuate the Hawaiian language and foster an appreciation for the Hawaiian culture. This event also helps to build class and school pride. Initially, it was a mandatory event but now it is voluntary. Teachers, students, song coaches, and staff meet after school to practice in order to avoid loss of instruction time. Because of this, we have students who want to be there rather than students who are forced to sing and practice.”
“Every year a theme is chosen and each grade level chooses a song to sing. This year’s theme is ‘Na Mele Aloha’ or ‘Songs of Love.’ There are eight different judging categories: most students participating from a grade level, most spirited, best class speaker, best song leader, coach’s award for the winning class, best performance, best overall appearance, and the Olelo Award for the best pronunciation of the Hawaiian language. Every year we have some kind of entertainment during the intermission when scores are being tallied. This year we will have our very own ukulele and chorus classes perform during the hoike. Come and check it out on Thursday evening if you are available!”