Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Corin Overland

Second Committee Member

Karen Kennedy

Third Committee Member

Coreen Duffy

Fourth Committee Member

Don Coffman


The last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, Queen Liliʻuokalani was also an avid composer of Hawaiian choral music. Her vast output places her as the most influential Native Hawaiian composer of the nineteenth century as well as a crucial figure in the development of Hawaiian choral music. Utilizing the history and repertoire of Lili’uokalani as a framework, this essay presents a guide for conductors of nineteenth century Hawaiian choral music in idiomatic performance issues specific to the repertoire, including diction, choral tone, instrumentation, and Native Hawaiian performance ritual. Because the performance practices of Liliʻuokalani’s music continue to evolve as a living practice, this essay synthesizes the Queen’s historical writings on these points with current perspectives from four living contemporary conductors and Native Hawaiian scholars. Finally, the essay presents audio examples of these practices, performed by Native Hawaiian choral ensembles.


conductor; Hawaii; Hawaiian; choral music; Queen Lili'uokalani; performance practice