It means "Thank You" in Hawaiian.
MAHALO NUI LOA means "Thank you very much".
We owe a very big "MAHALO NUI LOA" to all those involved in making our Hawaii trip a success.
Not only did we do well at all of the performances (4 total), we had a smooth trip there and back and no major issues while on the island.
Kathy Wood did an amazing job coordinating the trip, Jody Neja did a great job with chaperones, Maryann Douglas raised more money towards a travel event than ever before... and the chaperones on the trip took fantastic care of the students.
This trip was very special. Anyone can take a school group to an amusement park. We had an experience that was truly unique in the fact that we had a Pearl Harbor survivor travelling with us. Some of the really emotional and inspirational moments of the trip involved Mr. Swanson.
You can see hundreds of photos and videos of the trip on our various media sites... but being there and experiencing it firsthand will stay with these students for the rest of their lives. I only hope that on future trips, we will be able to take even more of our students (the majority of the bands there had near 100% participation). We certainly had enough fundraising and scholarship monies to help. We want to represent our school and our band at it's very best... not at 60%, 75%, or even 80%.
An especially gratifying part of the trip was the positive feedback along the way. Before we do any events, we talk to our students about behavior, expectations, appropriate language, respect of others, etc. Many times, students and parents accuse us of being "too strict" or "too demanding". We had 6 bands in our hotel. Half of them had students who were embarrassments to their schools and communities. Loud profanity in the lobby of the hotel, pushing other guests aside to crowd into an elevator, rude comments about their own group members and leaders, leaving trash after their meals... it was very disappointing behavior. Every venue we used commented on how mature and respectful our students acted. The bus drivers said that we were the best groups they drove all week. The hotel staff complimented us on our kids cleaning up after themselves. The truck drivers for our instruments told us that ours were the only kids who said "thank you". The photographer at the battleship said that ours was the most attentive and organized group....and casual observers came up and thanked us for how our kids behaved. THAT is why we demand so much! We never want to be "one of those bands" that people dislike due to inappropriate behavior.
It's one thing to perform well during a show or appearance. It is another thing entirely to perform with class on AND off stage!
A final word of thanks to the folks at Gateway Music Festivals. They did a near impossible task moving 4300 high school kids from 30 different schools over to Hawaii and back. They are truly the best in the business!
Start making plans for the next big event... you never know where we might be performing next!