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Back row from left, Natalie Sambajon, Kelly Kaawa Richardson, Lehiwahiwa Ritte, Valerie Temahaga; front row from left, Poʻokela Napoleon, Keakaokalani Kaiama, Daniel Pelekai, Jr., Institute for Hawaiian Music Director Keola Donaghy, Kaui Kapuni Manera, Shaye Lauifi

The first cohort of students from the island of Molokaʻi in the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College Institute of Hawaiian Music have released a compilation CD. Awaiāulu ʻIa E Ke Aloha Nō Molokaʻi (Bound Together By Love For Molokaʻi) featuring nine recordings, seven of which are original compositions by the students.

Aloha no Molokai C D cover

The students will celebrate with a live concert from Hiro’s ʻOhana Grill at the Hotel Molokaʻi. Because of COVID-19 protocols this event will not be open to the public, however, it will be broadcast live on Akakū and streamed live, starting at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 1. Visit the Institute of Hawaiian Music Facebook for more information.

“We are incredibly proud of this accomplishment by our Molokaʻi students. Their dedication and perseverance during trying times was incredible,” said Keola Donaghy, assistant professor of music and faculty coordinator for Institute of Hawaiian Music and music studies at UH Maui College. “We had to take our class online until it was safe to resume in-person classes, and once we did, we were able to complete the composition of their mele and recording of their release before their graduation.”

The new Awaiāulu ʻIa E Ke Aloha Nō Molokaʻi will be available for purchase online via

Prior Institute of Hawaiian Music compilation CDs have been recognized with two Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards—the Compilation Album of the Year for the 2015 release Aloha ʻIaʻO Maui and Hawaiian EP of the Year for He Lani Ko Luna, He Honua Ko Lalo. Other graduates of the Institute of Hawaiian Music have also been nominated for Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. These include the group Kūikawā (Josh Kulhavy-Sutherland, Lukela Kanae and Koa Mattos), Kyoko Meinen, who goes by the name “Malulani” and Robin Leihuanani Kealiʻinohomoku.

Institute of Hawaiian Music logo

The Institute of Hawaiian Music will audition new students this summer as it begins a new cycle of classes on Maui. Free applied Hawaiian music classes are open to UH Maui College students, whether or not they are part of the Institute of Hawaiian Music.

“The class is part of the Hawaiian ensemble,” said Donaghy. In addition to learning the songs and instruments, it improves ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) skills.

For more information, please call (808) 984-3570 or email

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