One Voice - Kamehameha

Kamehameha Schools Song Contest One Voice

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ONE VOICE is a documentary that tells the story of language, culture, perseverance and love.  Kamehameha High School Principal Julian Ako recently expressed it succinctly as "the story of our people's struggle to restore the vibrancy of our culture and language to the nation and the world.  There are so many valuable messages that are shared in this documentary.  Maika'i loa!  We can all be proud of this work."

The Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, a tradition nearly 90 years in the making, is a one-of-a-kind presentation of Hawaiiain language, song and dance. The melodies of acapella choral music performed in harmony by hundreds of high school students are unforgettable. Filmed in HIGH DEFINITION, this feature length documentary follows student song leaders of the Kamehameha Schools as they experience the trials and tribulations of competition in this annual high school event. A unique contest placed in a unique setting, the audience is lead through a process that shares a love for community, passion for Hawaiian music, and the story of a people who nearly lost their language and culture.

ONE VOICE captures the emotional effort it takes to prepare for the competition held in March 2008. The theme that year was ‘Ola Ka ‘Olelo ‘Oiwi O Ka ‘Aina – celebrating Hawaiian Language revitalization. The viewing audience will experience Hawaiian culture not only as it lives in the children and their families today, but also as it has survived, grown and flourished in our Islands. By the time the documentary reaches the culminating performance, the audience will be just as invested in who wins the competition as the students themselves.

The Song Contest has been an important tradition of Kamehameha since the first annual competition in 1921. Miss Laura Brown, a director of music at Kamehameha between 1926 and 1947, stated that “the objective of the song contest are to build up the repertoire of the best in Hawaiian music for the cultural heritage of any student who attends Kamehameha; to develop leadership, cooperation and good class spirit; and to give students the use of their singing voices and to give them pleasure in singing as a means of expression.” Today, the Song Contest represents a proud tradition spanning 89 years of Kamehameha’s history.

ONE VOICE is an Executive Production of Juniroa Productions, Inc. and Pacific Islanders in Communications.  PIC receives primary funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private not-for-profit that distributes federal funds to public broadcasting.


Students of the Kamehameha Schools

Executive Producers