For the first time, students to host 101st annual Kamehameha Schools Song Contest

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 10:18 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kamehameha Schools will be celebrating its 101st annual Song Contest this Friday and students will be paving a new path thanks to the pandemic.

Seniors Jeslie Pavao and La’akea Awong are serving as the first-ever student hosts for the event.

From the mele (songs) to ho’ike during intermission, students actually had two years to practice after the pandemic cancelled the in-person competition and the yearly event moved online.

Students say the class of 2020 laid the foundation. “I want them to know that their efforts and their aloha for this project is greatly appreciated,” said Awong.

[Previous coverage: Save the date: The 101st annual Kamehameha Schools Song Contest to air in May]

All songs and dances will be performed in small groups and individually.

“I performed my last song contest in a dorm room in a small room in a Kamehameha dormitory not with my 1,800 classmates,” said Pavao.

“It was emotional for me, but I’m so happy that at least we got to have that last hurrah,” she added.

This year’s theme “I Mau Ke Aloha Aina” expresses a deep love for the land with student-written compositions on regrowth of the Ohia forest, the Kaua’i floods, salt beds in Hanapepe and the Kilauea eruption which devasted and created.

“Through us performing in smaller groups, it created a dramatic scene for these mele,” said Awong.

Students see definite parallels to the pandemic and are proud to show their efforts and resilience to the world.

“I was so excited because we got to have our Song Contest,” said Pavao.

Song Contest 2021: Celebrating 101 Years will air at 7:30 p.m. on K5.

A pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Encore presentations will be on May 9 at 1:30 p.m. on KHNL and May 15 at 12:30 p.m. on KGMB.

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