Mr. DeMello was recruited to become the Chairman for the 'Iolani Music Department in 1965. Under his early leadership, he began the orchestra program, expanded music to the Lower School, founded a formal stage band program, and was the first to bring formation marching to Hawai'i. With the advent of 'Iolani coeducation in 1979, he enlarged the department to include hula, dance, ethnomusicology, and dramatic/theatrical arts and combined all programs under a comprehensive "performing arts" department.
Mr. DeMello's 38-year tenure as a department chair in two separate tours of 'Iolani duty (1965-1992, 2004-2015) was filled with expectations of student participation at the highest level, programmatic innovation and continuous departmental world travel dating back to the Osaka World Expo in 1970. His extensive knowledge of the arts, outstanding instrumental and vocal musicianship, and exceptional leadership influenced thousands of students and colleagues and garnered respect by his peers as truly a dean of performing arts education in Hawai'i.
A Memorial Service will be broadcast live at https://youtu.be/WdWdKWiyPOU on Saturday, October 16, 2021, beginning at 5:00pm.