Punahou has instilled a passion for music among more students than can be tallied. As part of our celebration of music, we invited alumni from different generations, as well as two current students, to be featured in group photos. They represent just a small number of those Punahou inspired with a gift of music.
Lea Friedman ’93 Almanza
Almanza’s years at Punahou were filled with music. She sang with the chorus throughout junior school and later the Chorale in the Academy. She also was a student director of Holoku. She went on to Cornell University, and after graduating, she went to Italy for three years to get to the root of her love for Italian opera, specifically Puccini. New York City then beckoned, and she spent seven years training with vocal maestri, beginning her professional career as an opera singer. She traveled the globe performing in such cities as Shanghai, Manila and Kuala Lumpur, and back home with Hawaii Opera Theatre and Honolulu Symphony.
She returned to Hawai‘i in 2007, and she and her husband, Joshua, now have two children attending Punahou. Since moving home, she has enjoyed roles with Diamond Head Theatre. She also is co-chair of DHT’s capital campaign for a new theatre and teaches private vocal lessons.
Roslyn Freitas ’82 Catracchia
Catracchia attended Punahou starting in the ninth grade. She found sanctuary and inspiration at the Chapel, where her mother, Beebe Freitas, was the organist. She began composing while at Punahou, and in her senior year, she and classmate Maura Lynch ’82 co-wrote their class graduation song.
She began composing professionally for the Honolulu Theatre for Youth in 1990, then became a lyricist/composer for Lisa Matsumoto for her “Once Upon One
Time Trilogy.” Since then, she wrote the music and lyrics for a number of musicals, including “On Dragonfly Wings,” “The Princess and the Iso Peanut” and “Noah: Come Hell or High Water.” She also wrote songs for more than 30 educational road shows and school productions, receiving seven Po‘okela Awards and two Hoku nominations.
In 2016, she wrote Punahou’s 175th Anniversary song. She’s currently working on a musical about Hi‘iaka and Pele with Keali‘I Reichel and Patrick Makuakane.
Pal Eldredge ’64
Eldredge has long been part of Punahou’s rich musical fabric, from his student days as a singer/guitar player for the Vaqueros, the School’s first rock band. A longtime Punahou educator, he has since sung and played music for countless Punahou events, celebrations, Chapels, building dedications, classes, student performances and Alumni Lu‘au. Since 1999, he has served as music director for Holoku and May Day. He also composed “It’s a Kakou Thing,” used in chapel services and the Oli Komo chant used by K – 5 students. In 2007, he composed “Kealaeli” and “Kawenaula,” songs named for two of the three wings at the K – 1 Neighborhood.
Andrew Hong ’19
Hong started taking piano lessons at age 6 at the Punahou Music School. He joined the orchestra in fifth grade and began playing the viola. He’s currently a member of the School’s Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Program. He also plays with the Hawaii Youth Symphony. In February 2019, he performed as a soloist in the Punahou Concerto Concert.
Max Ignas ’02
Ignas studied trumpet with Mark Minasian at the Punahou Music School, then went on to the University of Oklahoma, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. While there, he reached the semifinals and final in the solo and ensemble divisions at the National Trumpet Competition from 2004-2008 consecutively.
He has performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Canterbury Choral Society Orchestra, Enid Symphony and Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He also appeared as a guest artist with the U.S. Air Force Brass in Blue at the Grand Teton Music Festival. He still maintains an active performance schedule, playing with the Royal Hawaiian Band, at Diamond Head Theatre, and with chamber groups. He also teaches trumpet at Punahou Music School.
Henry Kapono ’67
Native Hawaiian Kapono is a multiple award-winning vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and composer. He is one of Hawai‘i’s most popular recording artists and is equally known for his community support and philanthropic endeavors, most recently launching the Henry Kapono Foundation in 2018, with a mission to support the community through music and the arts and by giving with aloha.
Over his long career, Kapono has received 14 Na Hoku Hanohano awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year. He also has been nominated for a Grammy Award.
He has been at the creative forefront of contemporary Hawaiian music throughout his career – from the laid-back island rock of Cecilio & Kapono in the 1970s and ’80s, to launching his solo career that produced 18 albums, to his Henry Kapono & Friends collaborations, to his “Wild Hawaiian” that fuses the power of Hawaiian traditions with driving rock rhythms.
Kapono attended Punahou on a baseball scholarship, then received a football scholarship to the University of Hawai‘i. Although he had no formal musical training, he fell in love with the sound of the guitar, had a friend teach him a few chords and has been hooked ever since.
Michael Lim ’07
Originally starting with piano lessons at the age of 4, Lim began to play the violin at the Punahou Music School starting in the second grade. In the fifth grade, he joined the Punahou Orchestra program under the direction of Craig Young, Mr. Gabriel Villasurda and Jonas Carlson. He was involved with the Punahou Chamber Music Program starting in the seventh grade and helped start the Punahou Music Club during his junior year. Along with the Youth Symphony Program, it was the instruction and musical opportunities at Punahou School that inspired Lim to pursue music as a degree and career. He attended the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance. After graduating, he received a certificate in music education at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and is currently teaching orchestra and choir at Mid-Pacific Institute. He also is a full-time member of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and teaches private violin lessons on the weekends. He hopes to share his passion for music with his students and the Hawai’i community, and inspire a new generation of musicians to love and preserve the art of music.
Pōmaika‘i Keawe ’99 Lyman
Music has always been a part of Pomaika‘i’s life. As a young girl, she began dancing hula and playing the ‘ukulele, and at Punahou, she participated in choir, band and as a Holoku musician, gaining greater appreciation for the Hawaiian music stylings and legacy of her famed grandmother, Genoa Keawe. She later traveled the world as a Hawaiian performing artist, representing the traditional music legacy of her late grandmother.
For the past six years, she has taught ‘ukulele in Punahou’s co-curricular Hawaiian Arts program. She also works as a substitute teacher at Punahou and performs at such events as Carnival and Alumni Lu‘au.
Jon Magnussen ’86
In his youth, Magnussen was a standout violinist and pianist. He went on to Cornell University and The Juilliard School, where he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in music composition. For seven years, he was an Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He returned to Hawai‘i in 2007, and is currently associate professor of music at University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu. See Magnussen’s alumni profile.
Luanna Farden ’56 McKenney
Music has been McKenney’s lifelong passion, coming from a large musical family. Her early years were devoted to learning songs and singing with her father on their daily trips over the Pali from their farm in Kane‘ohe. For her last two years of high school, she attended Punahou, where she performed in “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
After graduating from Pomona College, where she sang in the Pomona Chorus, she sang at the Royal Tahitian, where she met her husband, Peter McKenney, who shares her love of music. In 1974, they moved back to Hawai‘i with their two sons. She then came under the loving care of her Auntie Irmgard Aluli and began to sing in the newly formed Puamana with Aluli and her two daughters, Mihana and Aima. While part of Puamana, she performed for Luciano Pavarotti, the Prince of Wales and the Dalai Lama. They also performed for Garrison Keillor’s radio program, A Prairie Home Companion.
During this period, Peter and Luanna were exposed to the music of the Hawaiian Monarchy through the Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club Chorus. They joined the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and were selected to sing in the chorus for Robert Shaw when he came to conduct Brahms German Requiem.
Luanna discovered a love of opera while singing at cast parties for Hawaii Opera Theatre, where she has served for many years as a board member. She and Peter also sing and play ‘ukulele and bass in the Punahou Alumni Glee Club.
Allen Murabayashi ’90
A multitalented musician, innovator and visionary, Murabayashi attended Punahou for 13 years and participated in Punahou’s Chorale and Symphony Orchestra, and also was principal cellist with the Hawaii Youth Symphony. While majoring in music at Yale University, he played in the Yale Symphony Orchestra, sang and musical directed the Yale Alley Cats and the Yale Whiffenpoofs. He also became a founding employee of hotjobs.com, then went on to co-found PhotoShelter, a digital asset management service for photographers and organizations. He serves as executive producer of Punahou Sessions and is a board member of VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which seeks to create music education programs in low-income public schools around the nation.
Penelope Ng Pack ’12
Ng Pack started singing in kindergarten Chapel and hasn’t stopped since. During her 13 years at Punahou, she sang in various choirs, musicals, the Jazz Band and Holoku. She says she’s grateful for the musical mentoring and opportunities that have profoundly impacted her as a student, singer, and now, a professional singer.
She graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While in Washington, D.C., she sang with a women’s a capella group.
She was crowned Miss Hawaii 2018, and at Miss America 2018, her vocal performance of “They Just Keep Moving the Line,” won her a non-finalist
Talent Award. She is now an account executive at MVNP advertising agency in Honolulu. In her free time, she sings with her three siblings, Ethan ’15, Aaron ’17, and Emma ’20, in a family band.
Lorraine Sim ’19
Punahou’s senior class president played the piano before she picked up the flute. In eighth grade, she also began learning the guitar. Now a part of the School’s Wind and Flute ensembles, she credits her many musical instructors for “expanding my network, mentoring me as I matured as a musician and a person.”
Jerusha Hagen ’90 Tabori
Tabori participated in a variety of musical activities throughout her 13 years at Punahou, including piano and voice lessons at the Music School, choir, musical performances, Holoku and Chorale. As a senior, she traveled with the Chorale to Nagoya, Japan, and sang at Meiji Mura. At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, she co-directed the annual musical/variety show, Humorology. With a small cohort of directors, she helped write an original script, compose lyrics and choreograph the musical numbers of the musical comedy.
As an elementary teacher at Le Jardin Academy, she wrote an original musical that was performed by the entire first-grade class. The play, “The Incredible Journey of Charlotte Budain,” was performed for seven years. Now a third-grade teacher at Punahou, she continues to enjoy music integration with her colleagues. Her children, Noah ʻ21, Dahlia ʻ24 and Aviv ʻ28, are all active participants of music at Punahou.