Grammy-nominated artists honed craft at UH Maui College


Maui College
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, (808) 228-8108
Chief Communications Officer, UH Office of Communications
Posted: Mar 9, 2021

courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā
courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā
courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā
courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā

Link to video and sound (details below):

WHO: Two members of the Grammy-nominated group Nā Wai ‘Ehā (Kamalei Kawa‘a and Kalanikini Juan) took music classes at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College. Kawa‘a studied voice and piano with UH Maui College instructor Karyn Sarring.

WHY:  Kawa‘a said he took the music classes to improve his skills as a musician. He plans to earn an associate’s degree in Hawaiian studies next spring.

WHAT:  Maui-based group Nā Wai ‘Ehā is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category for their “Lovely Sunrise” album

WHEN:  The 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony is scheduled to be held Sunday, March 14, 2021.


Besides teaching him vocal techniques, Kawa‘a also credits Sarring with helping him to become a better piano player and increasing his appreciation for a broad range of musical genres. 

For more information on music studies at UH Maui College, go to: 

VIDEO: (TRT 1:41)

BROLL: (sound up of singing throughout)

:00-:15 Nā Wai ‘Ehā YouTube video, Kamalei Kawa‘a sings (courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā)

:16-:30 2 stills of Nā Wai ‘Ehā at Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards (courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā)

:31-38 Nā Wai ‘Ehā YouTube video  (courtesy Nā Wai ‘Ehā)


Kamelei Kawa‘a, Nā Wai ‘Ehā (:13 sec.)

“I learned how to use my voice correctly. I learned how to use vocal techniques. And the most important thing to me was how Karyn taught how to do vocal warm ups.”

Kawa‘a (says the vocal warm ups he learned have reduced strain on his voice and eliminated sore throats) (:21 sec.)

(Does vocal warm up)

“What that does is, even though it sounds funny and feels real uncomfortable when I do it in front of people, which is why I do it in my car and not in front of anyone, but what it does is it stretches your voice and you normally do it at a high register and at a low register.”

Karyn Sarring, UH Maui College music instructor (:11)

“It was a real surprise to me that such a talented young man from Maui was coming in to take these classes. And he was a great student.”

Sarring (:05 sec.)

“My biggest goals are that they sing healthy and that they have an authentic singing voice.”