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Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Nalani Olds

Queen’s musical legacy
thrives through
He Po‘ai Aloha



Nalani Olds, an entertainer in Hawaii for 46 years, has been researching the music of Lydia Lili'uokalani since the early 1970s.

As a member of the first class of docents trained at Iolani Palace, the music of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili'uokalani was her area of expertise. It's one she came to naturally.

"It's been something that's been dear to my heart my entire life," she said.

Olds, who was raised largely by her grandmother, grew up with a grounding in tradition and stories of the monarchy passed down from her great-grandmother, who had been a friend and companion of the queen. "When I was with (my grandmother) we did Hawaiian things, we spoke Hawaiian and such," she said. After her grandmother died, she said there literally seemed to be no one to talk to, until the 1970s and the Hawaiian renaissance.

The publication of "The Queen's Songbook" seems to have inspired another renaissance, this time in interest in the life and work of Lili'uokalani.

That interest has set the stage for a three month program being offered by the Hawaii State Public Library System and Native Books and Beautiful Things.

From now until the end of April, Olds will travel the state presenting "He Po'ai Aloha, Encircled With Love: The Musical Legacy of Her Majesty Queen Lili'uokalani." The 45-minute program portrays the queen's life, her music and her leadership.

"(The audience) can expect to have a touch of Hawaiian history and maybe a glimpse of the queen herself, though I say that with humility because I don't think anybody can ever really know the queen," said Olds.

The program is free and will be offered at public libraries statewide. Sponsors include Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Budget Rent A Car, Hawaiian Airlines, Alexander & Baldwin and Hui Hanai.


Bullet What: "Encircled With Love: The Musical Legacy of Her Majesty Queen Lili'uokalani"
Bullet When and Where: 6:30 p.m. today, Liliha Public Library, 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Kalihi-Palama Public Library; 10 a.m. Saturday, Aiea Public Library; and at other libraries statewide through April 24.
Bullet Call: Native Books and Beautiful Things at 845-8949 for times and locations.

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