Menehune Classic opens up marching band tournament season

Xchyler Barut, Staff Writer

After months of blisters, sunburns, and sore feet, nine marching bands across Oahu finally get a chance to run their completed show for the very first marching festival of the season. On October 22, the Moanalua High School Menehune Marching Band and Color Guard will be hosting the first festivals of the season, the 19th annual Menehune Classic. 

Menehune Classic is a festival that allows marching bands to showcase their progress and be evaluated by professionals. It gives marching bands a chance to be given feedback and make changes to get better as they approach competition season. Although they’re being evaluated by professionals, the Menehune Classic is not a competition.

Kacie Arakaki, Junior and Vice President of the Music Department, joined the marching band in 2020. However, it was not until the 2021 season when she had “real” performances. Last season, the marching band performed for viewers virtually and didn’t really have a chance to perform in front of a full audience. Now that the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the marching band can perform for a real, full capacity audience. 

“It’s really exciting to be able to play in front of a big audience again and see people from other schools,” Arakaki said. “With or without an audience, we get to perform for people. And I think that the people we get to march with makes it very exciting to [perform]”.

The schools that will be performing (in this order) are:

  • Castle High School
  • Kapolei High School
  • Aiea and Radford High Schools
  • Kailua High School
  • Pearl City High School
  • Kamehameha High School
  • Kalani High School
  • Mililani High School
  • Moanalua High School

Music Department director Elden Seta said he asked himself what he can do to develop Moanalua High School’s marching band program, as well as help other music programs. That’s when he and the other directors decided to create the Menehune Classic in 2003. 

“Personally, it makes me happy and relieved that we can do something to help others,” Seta said. “Music was made to bring everyone together […] and we’re all supposed to be lifting each other up. This is our way of giving everyone an opportunity to allow us to lift [other marching band programs] up too”.

The Classic begins at 6:00 p.m. in the athletic stadium. Tickets are available online at

The Moanalua High School Menehune Marching Band rehearses its “Sound of Music” program in the athletic stadium for Saturday’s Menehune Classic. (Xchyler Barut photo)