Song Contest Memories

Happy Song Contest day! I learned and celebrated many traditions at Kamehameha, but my favorite was always Song Contest. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Song Contest is a prestigious singing competition among the four grades at my high school, which is broadcast worldwide. The competition allows each grade to learn and memorize one or three traditional Hawaiian songs ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. Freshmen compete in the coed competition, while the sophomore, junior, and senior classes each compete in three competitions: coed, women’s, and men’s. Each Song Contest has a theme and this year celebrates Prince Jonah Kūhio Kalanianaʻole and his work establishing the past 100 years of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. The competition requires months of daily rehearsals between the classes as well as after school practices for Hawaiian Ensemble as they prepare for the midway hōʻike- a show composed of hula, mele, and ʻoli that tells the theme’s story. At the end of the show, five judges compare and contrast each performance, grading the students on pronunciation, musicality, and other requirements. Song Contest builds both camaraderie and intense rivalry between classes and truly celebrates the beauty of our Hawaiian culture. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite moments of past song contests. Good luck to all of the classes tonight and be sure to sing your hearts out!