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Keiki compete in ukulele contest

By Staff | Oct 29, 2015

Keiki in grades 1-12 performed and competed in Hula Grill Kaanapali’s 19th annual Keiki Ukulele Contest. PHOTO BY ERIC CRUZ.

KAANAPALI – Hula Grill Kaanapali hosted its 19th annual Keiki Ukulele Contest on Oct. 17, and the results are in: Maui’s got talent.

Thirty-two keiki ranging in age from first through 12th grade put on a great show for restaurant patrons. All contestants performed a song or two on stage in the Barefoot Bar.

Those who viewed the contest left with full hearts, and the youngsters that competed left with great prizes from generous sponsors Local Motion and Maui Jim.

The top place finishers each won a KoAloha ukulele – one of the world’s finest ukuleles.

Black Label ukulele maker Alan Tagama hosted a mini ukulele keychain workshop. All of the little kids were able to glue, sand and oil their instrument, just like a true ukulele builder would.

Judging the contest were George Kahumoku Jr., Jason Jerome, Damon Parrillo and KoAloha artist partners Kaimi Hananoeau and Emi Hart (Yelp Hawaii).

Renowned ukulele instructor Kimo Hussey hosted the morning ukulele workshop that got everyone warmed up.

Here are the top three finishers in each category: Solo Division, K-4 – Tulip Hori, Bobo Gallagher and Kua Bacalso; Solo Division, 5-8 – Alexander Macaraeg, Celina-Ann Romero and Natalie Smart; Solo Division, 9-12 – Anthony Pfluke, Max Angel Becerra and Corlyn Peterson; Group Division, All Ages – Max Angel & JJ Jerome; Celina-Ann, Eliasha-Lyn and Louise-John Romero; and Drew Austin, Briley Neyenhuis and Kieran Clark.

Two very special awards were presented by Nancy and George Kahumoku Jr. Kason Gomes and a member of the Romero ‘ohana were recognized for their potential greatness. They will get to attend George’s Slack-Key Guitar & Ukulele Workshop – a week-long summer camp for those wanting to excel at their passion. Visit kahumoku.com/learn-slackkey/for more information on the camp.

For more information on Hula Grill or this contest, call 667-6636 or visit www.hulagrillkaanapali.com.