HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The seniors are looking especially strong this year. Not only do they have a great song, but a great class leader.
In the past 95 years, only ten directors have won the Louise McGregor award multiple times. And she is one of them. In her fourth year in charge of her class co-ed song, Dezarae Le'i is in full control.
The song this year is complicated, but powerful. Ka Huliau 'Ana, written by Palani Vaughn and arranged by Randie Fong, has been sung twice before at song contest and won both times.
Le'i and the rest of the seniors are aware of the pressure.
"This is probably the last time it's ever going be sung at song contest," said Le'i. "It's the only song I've listened to for like the past month, and if I have free time and I'm not doing something related to song contest I feel like I'm doing something wrong with my life because literally song contest is like my life."
It's that dedication that inspires her classmates.
"Dez ... she's amazing. Just from freshman year to now we've seen her improve so much. All the awards that she's won for being director, she deserves it," said Kamehameha Schools senior Kristina Nip.
"She's doing a great job. She's been really working hard, and I understand that being a song director is hard, but I really feel that she's really connecting with us on the song," said classmate Kamakani Rivera-Kelekolio.
So, why does Le'i think she's been elected by her classmates all four years?
"Because I'm happy? I don't know!" She laughs.
For now, her focus is on this. This song with so many layers is a gift for these seniors. An opportunity to show they can handle the responsibility.
"My year, my class' year. And I need to take control because my teachers aren't going be the ones that night conducting them. It's going to be me," Le'i said.