All posts by hemahelo

About hemahelo

Herb Mahelona is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools (Kapalama) and the University of Hawaii at M?noa and an alumnus of the Hawaii Youth Symphony. He plays cello in various ensembles on Hawai?i Island and he is also the director of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Chorus, Mamalahoa Chapter.

Hōʻike cast on the morning news – Monday, March 7

Four cast members will be traveling to Oʻahu to appear on three morning news shows:  KITV, Hawaii News Now, and KHON to promote Hōʻike 2016: Hāʻupu.   Leads Mara-Jayde “Hiwa” Brown (Hina), Daylan-Blake Kalaʻi (Kapepeʻekauila), Pomai Longakit (Uli), and Kaeo Cachola (Niheu) will be in costume to sing selections from the opera and speak about the presentation.

Tune into any of the three stations to hear on Monday, March 7.

KITV 5:45 am – Live interview with all four cast members

Hawaii News Now  7:50am and 8:10am Daylan and Hiwa

KHON 8:10am  Pomai and Kāʻeo

The cast at KITV
The cast at KITV




Hōʻike on the radio!

KWXX and KAPA are now running ads for Hōʻike featuring Kaeo Cachola (Nihau) and Pomai Longakit (Uli) singing one of their duets from Act 1.

Kuuhiapo Jeong (Kana) and Makana Waikiki (Nuʻakea) will be interviewed on KWXX this Friday, March 2.  Tune in to hear the broadcast!

Cast for Into the Woods selected

Preliminary cast list has been posted for the fall production of Stephen Sondheimʻs “Into the Woods”, which was recently made into a movie.  The musical throws together various fairy tale characters (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack & the Beanstalk, etc.) who find themselves literally and figuratively “in the woods” as they face their dreams and fears.  Production will begin at the start of the next school year, after the Edinburgh Festival Fringe performance of Hāʻupu.

Waipa Trilogy selected for Hōʻike 2017


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.

West Side Story Sells Out!

For the first time in KS-H production history, a show has completely sold out!   The final performance of West Side Story on November 21 managed to fill every single seat in the house.  Mahalo to all who supported the students and faculty in this ambitious production!

The Jets contemplate their options to maintain their gang status.
Poʻo Kumu Lehua Veincent and Interim Kula Haʻehaʻe Poʻo Kumu Phil Aganus get in the actions as the dance leader Glad Hand, and Officer Krupke.


Jenn and Ken are Guest Speakers at Career Day

Jenn Eng and Ken Elliot coach students at a mock dance audition for Career Day
Jenn Eng and Ken Elliot coach students at a mock dance audition for Career Day

Wednesday, October 28 was Career Day at KSHHS, when professionals from the community are invited to give presentations to the students about possible future careers. This year, the performing arts students welcomed West Side Story choreographers Jenn Eng and Ken Elliott, who, instead of a lecture, let the students experience firsthand what a professional dance audition is like.

Students took a number, lined up and performed a routine they learned on the spot, with lots of encouragement and helpful insider tips from Jenn and Ken.  Helpful advice included being yourself, being unique and confident, speaking clearly, not being afraid of failure, being pleasant and courteous to everyone because you never know who you are talking to (might be your future boss or co-worker), and “the audition starts that moment you step of the bus/train/taxi.”  Good advice for life.

Jenn and Ken hosted three sessions of students interested in performing arts.

After lunch, 9th and 10th graders in the performing arts pathway of the Humanities academy had a second session with Mr. Stack, Mr. Mahelona, Mr. Kawakami, and Mr. Grothmann about preparing for an audition, and preparing for a singing audition.

Jenn Eng working with students.
Jenn Eng working with students.

Kamalanai Kekuewa


Sharle “Kamalanai” Kekuewa (Kana Shadow) is currently a senior at Kamehameha Schools Hawaii. She is the youngest of four children and in her free time enjoys spending time with friends and family and watching a good sports game. When her time at Kamehameha is over she hopes to attend New York University or Duke majoring in business. It was in elementary school that Kamalanai first got into performing arts. She participated in the Kamehameha Schools Keiki Choir from third grade through fifth grade.  Along with performing at Christmas and spring concerts, the Keiki Choir was also able to perform in the high school musicals! Kamalanai was an extra in Jesus Christ Superstar, and 42nd Street.  In middle school she got bigger roles:  a Von Trapp child in The Sound of Music, and Pepper the orphan, in the musical Annie.  When she reached high school, she wanted to experience another part of the theater and began working backstage during her freshman year. She enjoyed it because the backstage crew takes care of all the small details of the production and seemed to be the ones in control of everything and everyone. In her sophomore year she felt lucky and honored to be asked to work the light board because no one is allowed to touch it, and not many people know how to operate it. She enjoyed her years working in backstage but  is definitely looking forward to performing on stage again. She loves being able to step into another character and act as someone totally different from herself. What she hopes to gain from performing at the Fringe is a good response or reaction from those who watch. Kamalanai is excited that this will be the first time that the festival will feature a Hawaiian-language performance. “My castmates and I have the opportunity to represent our school and our Hawaiian culture. We have a chance to show people from around the world what aloha really is.  It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel extremely lucky and humbled that I was chosen.”