Hawaiian holidays: Kumu Hula O Lei Kukui O Moloka’i hosts dinner, Christmas show

The students of Kumu Hula O Lei Kukui O Moloka'i will replace their floral lei for Christmas garlands during a “Special Christmas Card From Hawaii” dinner and show.

click to enlarge From left to right, Kelani, 12, Sajsteen or "Kaleolani," 10, and Kiara or "Hokulani," 14, dance during a Kumu Hula O Lei Kukui O Moloka’i school practice in preparation for the "Special Christmas Card From Hawaii" dinner and show. - TRIBUNE/STEVE HANKS
Tribune/Steve Hanks
From left to right, Kelani, 12, Sajsteen or "Kaleolani," 10, and Kiara or "Hokulani," 14, dance during a Kumu Hula O Lei Kukui O Moloka’i school practice in preparation for the "Special Christmas Card From Hawaii" dinner and show.

Led by Bill Ka’aihue, the Clarkston hula and music school has about 35 students, ranging from 6 to 68 years old. Ka’aihue teaches hula, Polynesian, M?ori and Tahitian dances.

He owns a catering company on top of playing ukelele and singing for the school’s performances. Some of the Tahitian costumes, headdresses and skirts are designed by Bill and his cousin, which he said saves them more than $200 for each outfit.

For the school’s Christmas performance, audiences can expect to hear holiday and Hawaiian music, with up to 15 performers on stage at a time.

The babies are gonna do one Christmas song,” said Ka’aihue, as he described his beginning dancers.

click to enlarge Bill Ka’aihue and Margaret Guzman strum their ukuleles. - TRIBUNE/STEVE HANKS
Tribune/Steve Hanks
Bill Ka’aihue and Margaret Guzman strum their ukuleles.

Dancers will be accompanied by Ka’aihue while they perform, and before the show, a pianist, guitarist and bass guitarist will perform along with Ka’aihue and his ukelele.

Most people are familiar with the Hawaiian holiday song, “Mele Kalikimaka,” written by Robert Alex Anderson in 1949. The phrase means “Merry Christmas.” Ka’aihue said this will be one of the few Christmas songs the band plays during the dinner.

Special Christmas Card From Hawaii” will take place Dec. 14 in Guardian Angel Hall, behind Valley Medical. Doors open at 5 p.m., the dinner runs from 6-7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Pre-paid tickets are $15 and include the choice of prime rib or ham. Children, ages 5-10, cost $10 for chicken. All meals are served with mashed potatoes or rice, hot vegetables, tossed salad and rolls.

As for Christmas in Hawaii, Ka’aihue said it is exactly the same as it is in Clarkston.

Except the weather in Hawaii is the same all year long,” he said.

Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or ltreffry@inland360.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTreffry.

-> if you go: WHAT: “Special Christmas Card From Hawaii,” a dinner and show WHEN: Doors open at 5 p.m. Dec. 14. The dinner runs from 6-7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Guardian Angel Hall (behind Valley Medical), 2221 Vineyard Ave, Lewiston COST: $15 adults, $10 children, $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by calling (208) 553-9556.

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