Meet the Huapala Girls



Together, the members of Huapala sing Hawaiian mele⁠ in hopes of using their talents to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

The up-and-coming band from Koʻolauloa, Oʻahu is ready to take the stage with their beautiful voices and impeccable instrumental skills. Auliʻi Tai Hook, Kamakahukilani Plunkett, Leinalu Enesa, Moanahiwalani Walker, and Wahinepōʻaimoku Nahale-a are the members of the recently formed band Huapala.

The bandmates got their start at Ke Kula Kaiāpuni o Hauʻula–the Hawaiian immersion language program in their community–where they started singing with one another. Songs of the ʻāina such as Hauʻula Pāka by Cy Bridges and Beautiful Kahana by Mary Montano are momentous in the band’s self-discovery and their voice as a group. These songs were among the first songs learned in their “hanah badah” days, and they continue to sing them as Huapala. The girls share how Project Kuleana Nā Moʻo taught them the “importance of rooting [themselves] in [their] community and honoring [their] home through mele. We carry the aloha we have for our community with us every day, everywhere we go.”

Aloha Festival’s 74th Annual Floral Parade took place on Sept. 24th, 2022 where Huapala performed on a beautifully decorated float, with portraits of Hawaiian Monarchs made of white long-grain rice, black beans, slit-peas, lentils, and red lima beans. Hanohano Helumoa by Manu Boyd, one of the songs featured on the float during the parade, honors the place called Helumoa for its serenity and the peace it gave Pauahi in her final moments. The girls express how the “route of the parade allowed [them] to sing this mele in the very place for which it was written.” They continued saying, “As Huapala, we were able to use our talent to honor the music, the place, the composer, and the meaning of the song.” As students of Kamehameha Schools, they also reflect on how they were able to “mahalo Pauhi by honoring her legacy through [their] performance at the parade,” and in doing so, further portray their moʻomeheu.

Additionally, the girls discussed how the parade opened many opportunities for them. They worked with plenty of talented individuals in preparation for the performance. Talents include Kumu Baily Matsuda, Kumu Kaleo with Hawaiian Ensemble Club, and kumu and staff from the Concert Glee Club.

Check out Huapala on Instragram: @huapalagirlss

Email Huapala for bookings: [email protected]