Auntie Noelani Mahoe

noleani mahoe
2016 Kaua'i Honoree

Profile of a Notable member
Noelani Mahoe
Educator, Musician, Hawaiian Music Event Producer, and more!
Since the late 1950's, Noe has immersed herself in teaching hula, Hawaiian music and `ukulele to new generations of both young people and adults in a City & County of Honolulu program from 1958-`64. She was chosen to participate in the 1999 Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Education Committee that developed our E Mele Kakou elementary school curriculum, and one of the first group to teach the program in 4th and 5th grade music classes.

Mrs. Mahoe formed the quartet "Leo Nahenahe Singers" in 1963, and with Ka`upena Wong were the first Hawaiians to perform at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island in 1964.

Her Hawaiian music outreach work in education expanded when she joined the DOE Office of Instructional Services in 1980, and with Lokomaikai Snakenberg and Mahealani Pescaia, developed, produced and instilled a unique component, Kupuna, in Hawaiian Studies Curriculum in the State's schools.
Noelani Mahoe joined the original Hawaiian Music Foundation founded by the late Dr. George Kanahele in 1971, and coordinated the first Hawaiian Music Conference, held that year. As an officer of that organization, she coordinated the Slack Key, Falsetto, and Steel Guitar concerts held on all Islands.
For Hawaii Public Television, as an associate producer, she helped develop six half-hour "Na Mele Hawai`i " shows still being aired today.

Almost forty years later, Mrs. Mahoe was still reaching out through Foundation projects in Dr. Kanahele's Native Hawaiian Tourism Travel Association, organizing choruses and song contests with Waikiki Hotels. Finally, in 2002, the "Leo Nahenahe Singers" which she organized, were invited to perform at the Hawai`i Theatre by Garrison Keiler (Prairie Home Companion Show) for PBS.
The icing on the cake came in May, 2002, when Noelani received HARA's Lifetime Achievement Award, a fitting honor for a foremost Hawaiian music educator.

Noelani Mahoe
Singer, Musician, Hula Teacher

Author, historian, musician, singer, recording artist, teacher of hula and music, and show producer, Edwina Noelani Kanoho Mahoe is a master of Hawaiian music, a pioneer who has contributed greatly to its perpetuation. In the early 1960's, Noelani formed the Leo Nahenahe Singers with Ethelynne and Mona Teves and Lynette Kaopuiki. In 1964, along with Kaupena Wong, they were the first Hawaiian performers invited to perform at the world-renowned Newport Folk Festival, at the request of American icon Pete Seeger. In 1996, Noelani was a finalist for Best Female Vocalist in the Na Hoku Hanohano music awards. She has received many Hawaii Music Awards and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawai`i Academy of Reording Arts.

Noelani taught music and hula in the influential Parks and Recreation programs of Honolulu in the 1960's, and formed the Waimanalo Keiki chorus who performed widely, producing popular recordings.  In 1971, she joined her friend, late Hawaiian visionary Dr. George Kanahele, in forming the Hawaiian Music Foundation, and the first Hawaiian Music Conference. She coordinated slack key, falsetto and steel guitar concerts throughout Hawai`i. She coined the phrase Òleo ki`eki`eÓ to describe the falsetto voice, and received approval from the Hawaiian Dictionary author Mary Kawena Pukui -- the term was added to the dictionary in1985.

She has been a music judge for many Kamehameha Schools Song Contests, has worked for years with the visitor industry as a cultural consultant. She has developed many educational curricula centered on Hawaiian music.

In 1974, Noelani produced the TV series Na Mele Hawai`i capturing many masters on film -- its archives are valued sources. She currently coordinates the music and hula shows at the International Market Place in Waikiki.

Noelani is well-known for Na Mele O Hawai`i Nei, A Hundred and One Hawaiian Songs, co-authored with Dr. Samuel H.Elbert. This book is on the shelf of nearly every hula dancer and singer of Hawaiian music.

Her hula background is a unique as NoelaniÕs life, having studied privately with hula master Tom Hiona from 1953 to 1961, when he gave her permission to teach. She also learned specific hula from Alice Keawekane, Lena Machado and others.