NEW TUNES

By Staff

Athletic Management, 17.2, February/March 2005, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/am/am1702/wunewtunes.htm

After changing their team name and uniform styles, athletic administrators at the University of Hawai’i have gone one step further: They’ve added new music to the school’s football games.

The idea originated with five-time Grammy Award-winning composer Mike Post, who has written music for dozens of television shows, including "Hill Street Blues, "Law & Order," and "NYPD Blue." Post, who has lived part-time in Hawai’i for the past 30 years, became friends with Head Football Coach June Jones when Jones returned to lead the program in 1999. Jones had pushed for the adoption of the nickname Warriors, replacing Rainbow, which Hawai’i teams had long been called, as well as the new uniforms.

"When I first came back, Mike mentioned to me that he wanted to do something for the school," says Jones. "He kept saying it, until I realized that he was serious. He wanted to give something to the football program, something that would last long after he and I are gone."

The work includes six taped pieces of music, some of them as short as 10 seconds, which were played for the first time during last season’s home games. The tracks, which are dominated by drums, conch, and chanting, feature traditional Polynesian musicians, and are intended to represent island culture.

The pieces include "Conch Shell," which is played before kickoff, "Eo Eo," which is played during timeouts, and "Warrior Strut," which is played as the home team enters the field. The lyrics to "Warrior Strut," provided by Kanalu Young, a professor of Hawai’ian Studies at the university, include a traditional Hawai’ian call to arms, "Eo Na Toa E," which Jones translates as "This is battle. You must respond." Those four Hawai’ian words have become the team’s unofficial motto, with student-athletes wearing it on their shirts and fans chanting the words during games.

"The new music has changed the whole atmosphere of our home games," says Jones. "As soon as the crowd hears ‘Eo Na Toa E,’ everybody responds. And in the six years that I’ve been here, that’s never happened before.

"We wanted to establish an identity of who we are, and this has done that," Jones continues. "It really is us. It ties us all together, and over time it will become even more powerful, giving our program a new tradition."

The University of Hawai’i’s new football music can be heard at: uhathletics.hawaii.edu/music.html.