For Hōʻike 2017, the KSH Hōʻike Committee has selected the “Waipa Trilogy” by Hilo playwright, composer, choir director Clarence Waipa. The “Trilogy” is actually three separate plays written by Waipa for St. Josephʻs High School in the 80s: Almost a King – the tragic story of Prince Leleiohoku who passed away before ascending the throne, Liliʻuokalani – dramatization of the trial and arrest of the queen, and Kaʻiulani – the princess who studied abroad and brought recognition of Hawaiʻiʻs issues to an international audience, and later died young.
The three plays were condensed and presented by the University of Hawaii – Hilo under the direction of Jackie Pualani Johnson in 1987. The plays incorporate well-known Hawaiian songs and many original compositions by Clarence Waipa. The condensed version will be presented by Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School in March of 2017, incorporating the largest stage cast for a Hōʻike program. The music will be rearranged and accompanied by the high school band.
Clarence Waipa passed away in 2011 at the age of 77. He was a retired music teacher from St. Joseph School, former choir director of Hilo Seventh-day Adventist Church, First United Protestant Church, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Chorus of Hilo and Sing Out Hilo and a member of Hilo Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In 2013 a memorial scholarship was created in his name for UH Hilo performing arts students. A concert to raise funds for the scholarship included members of all the ensembles that Waipa directed, as well as the Kamehameha High School choir and concert glee students. Ryder Furukado (KSH ʻ13) was the first recipient of the scholarship.
KSH is honored to present his work for Hōʻike 2017. It presents great learning opportunities for students and participants as history is dramatized on the stage, and in the true spirit of Hōʻike also presents an opportunity for sharing.