The most prolific female Hawaiian composer since Queen Lili`uokalani, Irmgard Aluli wrote over 200 songs. She never bothered to keep a record of her output. She composed her first song, “Down on Maunakea Street”, in 1935.
Irmgard’s first hit, “Puamana” was composed in 1937. Homesick for her Farden family home, Puamana, in Lahaina, Maui, she wrote her song while serving in Moloka`i as a field agent for the University of Hawai`i Agricultural Extension Service. In time, it became the name of her well-known family quartet, formed in the 1970s. Irmgard, her daughters Mihana and Aima and her niece Luana performed from California to New York.
One of ten children, Irmgard was raised in an environment of music. Her parents, sisters, brothers and numerous relatives were all gifted with musical talent. Long before she began composing tunes and writing lyrics, Irmgard was singing in family music sessions, at school, and in church choirs.
“Auntie Irmgard” also composed many songs touching on a spiritual theme. Her children’s songs distinguished her in the small group of Island composers, mostly women, who have written Hawaiian songs for children. During her life, Irmgard was a recipient of many honors and awards for her “simple, distinctively Hawaiian” compositions, and her contributions to the music education of Hawai`i’s children.