Original Windward Songs Stand Out At Civic Club Competition

Ho'opono Wong (left) plays his song 'Pu'unui' with his brother Pu'unui on bass guitar at the song composers competition at Windward Mall. Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo, ltabudlo@midweek.com.

Music inspired by the Windward side is nothing new, but the recent Na Mele Ko’olaupoko – an original song composers contest at Windward Mall – proved it.

Of the 19 mele entered in the competition, eight of the songs had their roots in Ko’olaupoko and were judged winners.

Coordinated by Ko’olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club with sponsorship from the mall, and Hawaiian Electric Co. and its charitable foundation, the September event awarded cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250. The winners and their divisions are listed below.

* Professional: Kaneohe’s Del Beazley, first, for Kahalu’u Night;

Waima-nalo’s Cyd Kamakea, second, for Kahalu’u’s Crying.

* Amateur: Ho’opono Wong, first, for Pu’unui (speaking of an area legend); Kaneohe kupuna Gwen Lee, second, for Na Mea Waiwai o Ka ‘Aina; Kaneohe’s Nalu Kay, third, for Keep Country, Country (pre-serving Windward Oahu).

* Hawaiian language: Cyd Kamakea, first, for Ka Ua Kilihune (dedicated to Windward Oahu kumu hula Al Barcarse); Kaneohe’s Kawena Mechler, second, for Puakahi (about her home); and Kailua’s Joseph Iokepa DeSantos, third, for He Mele No Ko’olaupoko (about the area’s 11 ahupua’a).