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Keiki compete in ukulele contest

By Staff | Oct 22, 2009

The Maui Youth Ukulele Contest drew 26 participants. Photo by Hula Grill Kaanapali.

KAANAPALI — Twenty-six keiki contestants took to the stage to demonstrate their skills in the 13th annual Maui Youth Ukulele Contest held recently at Hula Grill Maui.  

Keiki competed in four age divisions and one group division, all vying to take home the coveted prize of a brand new ukulele.

Here are the results, with winners listed by order of finish: Division 2 (grades 3-5) — Kaulike Pescaia, Kihei Elementary, fifth grade;

Division 3 (grades 6-8) — Kieran Clark, Sacred Hearts School, sixth grade; Mika Kane, Kamehameha Schools, eighth grade; Max Beccera, Maui Preparatory Academy, sixth grade; Cory Erben, Lokelani Intermediate, sixth grade;

Division 4 (grades 9-12) — Ashley Toda, Seabury Hall, 11th grade; Gabriel Goebbert, Kihei Charter School, 11th grade;

Group Division — Bryson Vega, Siaosi Ngalu, William Nipp and Aaron Morton, all Kamehameha Schools eighth-graders; Gabriel Goebbert of Kihei Charter School, Austin Carvalho of Baldwin and Kaimakoa Guy of Maui High, all juniors; and Jared Vasques, RC Javier, Ikaika Lumlung and Alfredo Malapira, all Lahainaluna High School seniors.

Contestants were judged on ukulele performance (including strumming, rhythm and picking), singing and stage presence, originality, their brief introduction, offstage attitude and keeping within the time limit.  

This year’s judges included Ernest Puaa, Peter De Aquino, Derrick Sabastian, Kevin Brown and George Kahumoku. The contest was made possible thanks to the support of several generous sponsors, including Maui Jim Sunglasses, Leilani’s on the Beach, Kimo’s, ‘Ulalena, Aloha Mixed Plate, Outback Steakhouse, Maui Ocean Center, Maui Golf and Sports Park, and Roy’s Bar and Grill.