‘Hokulea is for Children’

LIHUE — Talen Koerte of Lihue loves singing about Hokulea.

“It feels pretty awesome because you represent all the kids on the island,” says the King Kaumuali‘i fourth-grader. “I get to meet new friends and meet old friends, too.”

Koerte is one of 12 Kauai children in a choir singing, “Hokulea is for Children,” a song dedicated to the legendary voyaging canoe from Hawaii.

“It parallels the children’s voyage with the voyage of the actual ship,” said Kathleen Dahill, who along with Charles “Chucky Boy” Chock, wrote the song for the documentary, “Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.” “The captain, Nainoa Thompson, asked us to involve the children.”

The Malama Honoua Youth Choir includes keiki from 8 to 13 years of age who come from 12 different schools across the island. All 12 kids who auditioned will have the opportunity to practice, recite and record the song.

“We selected good kids with heart,” Chock said. “They’re coming along real good.”

The kids have been practicing Sundays at Lihue Christian Church since April and are slated to begin recording the song in late June.

“It feels really cool to be a part of it,” said Brianne Dotimas, an eighth-grader who attends Kapaa Middle School, where she is in the choir.

For some of the kids, it is the first time they’ve been part of a group, one reason why Dahill said she’s working on team-building exercises.

“None of these kids go to school with each other, so they’re getting to know each other, so they can get strong in their voices before they learn the song and before they record,” she said.

“Some are very outgoing. Some are very quiet; this is a new experience for them, but their voices are very sweet.”

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