E Mele Kākou
E Mele Kākou is a music curriculum for 4th and 5th graders focusing on the music of Nā Lani 'Ehā, the Four Royal Ones (Kalākaua, Lili'uokalani, Likelike, and Leleiohōku). It is a 4-week program in conjunction with the Honolulu Youth Opera Choir (HYOC) headed by Nola Nahulu. Besides learning the music of Nā Lani 'Ehā, the students are taught Hawaiian history, culture, values, bel canto singing, and music theory. Their program culminates in a performance with the Royal Hawaiian Band at a school assembly. The students also tour 'Iolani Palace where they see where Hawaiian royalty lived and composed music. This program has been ongoing for 15 years. We are fortunate to receive grant funds from the Friends of Hawaii Charities (the charitable arm of the Sony Open) to help schools in urban at-risk areas to afford the $1,500 matching funds required by the schools to participate in E Mele Kakou.
In 2016, 3 schools were lucky recipients: Ka'iulani, Kalihi, and Royal Elementary Schools.