A native Hawaiian and graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Mahi furthered his musical training at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut and did graduate work at Loma Linda university in California. His tenure with the band was the second longest in its history and during this time he took the band on a historic trip to Europe where they entertained nearly 17,000 people in 19 concerts over 21 days. He also led the band in a tour of the mainland U.S., which was highlighted by an exuberant performance at New York's Carnegie Hall, and a tour of Japan where they commemorated a sister-city relationship with Hiroshima. In 1999 under Bandmaster Mahi's baton, the band was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame. Four years later in 2003, bandmaster Mahi was the recipient of a German "Order of Merit" for his perpetuation of German music in the band. Called the "Bundesverdienstkreuz," he was presented with the award during a ceremony at `Iolani Palace.