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Aloha ʻOe The Song at Pier 10: A Tall Tale

John Tanaka

Softcover, 212 pp.

Aloha 'Oe, The Song at Pier 10 is a tale of love between Hawaiian Queen Lili'uokalani and the Prussian Kappellmeister (Bandmaster) Heinrich Berger, the first Bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band. Berger, 28, arrived in Hawai'i in 1872 to take King Kamehameha V's discordant marching band to the next level. He met a native lady, Lili'u Kapa'akea Dominis. They developed a relationship more than close. Berger quickly took the King s band to the next level, all the while composing and arranging hundreds of Hawaiian songs and saving over a thousand local tunes for posterity. Lili'u was named Princess Lili'uokalani by the new King Kalākaua, her brother, who later appointed her Heir Apparent. After King Kalākaua's premature death in 1891, Lili'uokalani ascended to the Throne. Berger s bond with Queen Lili'uokalani tightened as he helplessly watched, with dismay, her rapid decline and fall two years later, ending Hawai'i's treasured monarchial times. Through this distressful time, Berger remained closest to Lili'uokalani's troubled, lonely heart. How close were they? They keep us guessing.

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