Sunday, July 29, 2001

Joanna Ortiz, left, and Faaigaelo "Junior" Moananu,
recently practiced Tahitian dancing. They are among
the 15 Waipahu High School students to perform
Polynesian singing and dancing next month at the
All Japan Senior High School Cultural Festival in Fukuoka.

Students to take music
of Polynesia to Japan

By Pat Gee

Fifteen Waipahu High School students will be the only American participants in a weeklong cultural festival in Japan next month, where they will perform traditional Polynesian songs and dances.

Students and adult escorts will leave Tuesday for Fukuoka City for the 25th All Japan Senior High School Cultural Festival. It is a weeklong national celebration, with many nations invited, beginning Aug. 1, of educational activities and events focusing on all subjects taught in high school.

Conklin Leighton Kaapana, group leader and school health coordinator, said the festival's representatives were impressed with the performance of the Waipahu High band in last year's Lion's International Convention parade. They invited bandleader Joe Pacheco to bring his band to the festival.

Kaapana said a schoolwide audition was held to choose the 15 who would go to Fukuoka after Japanese representatives said they wanted a more diverse performance, with singing and dancing from various Polynesian cultures.

Chosen to perform Tahitian, Samoan and Hawaiian songs, chants and hulas are Heather Brown, Lucy Fauatea, Joanna Ortiz, Monalisa Parker, Vania Thomsen, Crystal Trow, Bronson Ancog, Nicholas Ancog, Abraham Lagrimas, Tuatafaloa Mahe, Faaigaelo Moananu, Kelan Peters, Douglas Rodrigues, Christian Susa and Amani Tamalii.

Although basic travel expenses will be paid by the Fukuoka Board of Education, the students need additional financial support to cover other expenses for passports, uniforms, costumes, instruments, meals and gifts for host families who will house them.

If you would like to help, call Principal Patricia Pedersen at 675-0222 or send a check payable to Waipahu High School.

E-mail to City Desk

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