FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Daryl Fujiwara
August 13, 2021
MAUI, HAWAII – The 19th annual Richard Ho‘opi‘i Leo Kiʻekiʻe Falsetto Contest is seeking contestants. The contest will be held live-streamed from the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 6pm. Applicants may apply online at https://forms.gle/FUaN3VrHV5hrQJ8u6 or festivalsofaloha.com/falsetto-contest.
Due to enhanced COVID regulations the committee is not offering seating to the public at this time. Spectators are asked to tune in to Facebook LIVE on facebook.com/festivalsofaloha.
“We were not able to hold the contest last year and I don’t want to cancel again. What would have been our 20th contest this year, is the 19th. Safety first, we are moving forward with our traditions within the parameters of the “new norm,”” shared Daryl Fujiwara, Event Coordinator.
The purpose of this event is to provide a championship opportunity for amateur falsetto singers, as well as to provide a dynamic platform for the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiʻi’s unique falsetto traditions. Additionally, it is designed to honor and uphold the cultural and entertainment ideals and integrity as modeled by the late Uncle Richard Hoʻopiʻi––Hawaiian falsetto legend, member of the renowned musical duo, The Hoʻopiʻi Brothers, a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner, a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award co-recipient, a National Endowment of the Arts Folk Heritage Fellowship co-recipient, a Grammy Award co-recipient, and the founder of the Richard Hoʻopiʻi Leo Kiʻekiʻe Contest.
1. Male Solo “Amateur” Contestant (has not been signed to a label or released a solo album; and has not already won or championed another falsetto contest).
2. Contestants are highly encouraged to accompany themselves musically using their own instrument; especially ukulele or guitar. Contestants may use the back-up three (3) man band provided by Festivals of Aloha, or bring their own back-up musicians. A maximum of three back-up musicians is permitted. However, to acknowledge the increased difficulty of playing an instrument while singing, reliance solely on back-up musicians without self-accompaniment will result in the contestant receiving a score of 4/10. Accompanying oneself musically will result in a possible score of 6/10 through 10/10. Non-singing, non-speaking musical accompaniment only. Taped/CD/Media-File music is not permitted.
3. No duplication of songs. The first to respond will reserve his selection for his performance.
4. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by September 18.
5. Applicants must complete and return Contestant Application Form, Demo Recording by Sept 1.
6. Contestant Song must be relevant to Hawai’i, must be performed in Hawaiian, and must be approved by the committee. Applicant’s demo recording must accompany application and feature the song listed on the Contestants Application Form. Because Hawaiian language - is a judged component, the song selected should consist of at least 90% Hawaiian language lyrics. Automatic point deductions for songs consisting of less than 90% Hawaiian language will be subject to suggestions of the Head Language Judge.
7. Performance is limited to five (7) minutes, including interpretation, actual song and musical accompaniment.
8. Song interpretation is mandatory and must precede the song.
9. Contestant is responsible for any and all expenses arising from his participation in the contest. This includes, and is not limited to, travel expenses, costumes, back-up musicians, equipment and flowers.
10. Aloha attire is recommended. Lei and other ethnic Hawaiian accessories are encouraged.
Judging will be based on the following criteria. Judges will rank contestants in each category on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest score). Total points possible is 550.
• VOCALS/MUSIC - Vocal Quality (Balance, Intonation, Strength, etc.); Vocal Technique (Control, Ha‘i (up/down), Glissando, Vibrato, etc.); Vocal Aesthetics (Dynamics/Expression, Individuality, Phrasing, etc.); Musicianship (self-accompanied or not).
• HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE - Mele Background (Composer, mo‘olelo; mana‘o/inspiration; amount and accuracy of mo‘olelo Hawai‘i); Pronunciation/Enunciation (Articulation and command of the Hawaiian Language, Kahakō, ʻokina, phrasing, etc.); Technique (Ha‘i/grace note in appropriate places; comfort/ease in mo‘olelo delivery).
• OVERALL PRESENTATION - Grooming; Stage presence, connection with audience; Posture; Communication (Accurate, Enlightening, Entertaining, etc.); Delivery; Emotion; Honorific of Hawaiian cultural values.
• TIME PENALTY, ONE POINT PER MINUTE OVERTIME DEDUCTION: A one-point deduction off contestant’s final score will be assessed for each minute that the contestant exceeds the five-minute time limit.
•TIE – The Head Judge will deliberate ties based on the difficulty/intricacy of the language and vocal techniques employed in the presentation of the tied mele, as well as the overall “polish” of the tied presentations.
Past contest winners are posted below:
2020 – COVID-19 / Cancelled
2019 – Ikaika Mendez, Ulupakakua, Maui
2018 – Kaulike Pescaia, Kihei, Maui
2017 – Kason Gomes, Wailuku, Maui
2016 – Greg Juan, Wailuku, Maui
2015 – Kamalei Kawa‘a, Waiehu, Maui
2014 – Grant Kono, Honolulu, Oahu
2013 – Micah Hoapili Ku‘aimoku De Aguiar, Kona, Hawai‘i
2012 – Joshua No‘eau Kalima, Hilo, Hawai‘i
2011 – Ezra Kaui Krueger, Maui, Hawai‘i
2010 – Po‘okela Wood, Maui, Hawai‘i
2009 – Pomaika‘i Krueger, Maui, Hawai‘i
2008 – Kamakani Kiaha, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i
2007 – Kapono Na‘ili‘ili, Oahu, Hawai‘i
2006 – Kalani Benanua, Lana‘i, Hawai‘i
2005 – Hiroshi Okada, Japan
2004 – Kai Ho‘opi‘i – Maui, Hawai‘i
2003 – Kamaka Fernandez, Maui, Hawai‘i
2002 – Ramzey Ho‘opi‘i, Maui, Hawai‘i
Please enjoy our Festivals of Aloha 2020-2021 Virtual Ho‘olaule‘a. Below are links to watch and a short synopsis of each episode.
Festivals of Aloha Hana • https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2130215463785807
We head to Hana, Maui and enjoy performances by the Kula Kaiapuni ma Hana, Fawn Helekahi and ‘ohana, Cj Helekahi, Lahela Park, Ata Pata, Josh Martin, Keoni Darisay, Ian Aquino with Kealaheleikapo Tau’a and Teresann Makaiwi Tau’a. Learn to make a lauhala craft and pohole salad with Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata and check out the farmers market open Friday’s from 3:30pm-5pm. Mahalo to the Hana-Maui Resort.
Festivals of Aloha Molokai • https://www.facebook.com/FestivalsofAloha/videos/220726786407703
Molokai no ka heke! We taste Anahaki Farms proprietary tea, gather flowers and make lei at Molokai Plumeria, weave coconut fronds with Maui Grown 808, check in on Hawaiian fashion house Kealopiko Summer 2021 Collection, and get Kanemitsu Hot Bread! Featuring music by Pa‘apono, Keaka, Uncle Mango, Taye and Esther, Melia, and Heli Ducaroy Silva.
Festivals of Aloha Maui • https://www.facebook.com/FestivalsofAloha/videos/153722286818497
Festivals of Aloha Maui heads to the kitchen at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua with chef Executive Sous Chef Meredith Maneé and Hawaiian Cultural Advisor Clifford Naeole who talk story and prepare “luau ravioli with he‘e (octopus), we’ll learn to make headbands out of coconut fronds with U‘i Kahue and Romeo Siatris, make ogo salad with Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata and enjoy music by Cj Helekahi at Lona Ridge and Josh Tatofi at the Cliff House Montage Kapalua
Festivals of Aloha Lana‘i • https://www.facebook.com/FestivalsofAloha/videos/889553458568947
On Lana‘i we go sightseeing with local boy Makani Tabura, talk story with Phoenix, the owner of Blue Ginger, learn about value-add Lana‘i honey from Ono Loa Lanai Fine Foods and enjoy music by Kapua Entertainment.
Festivals of Aloha, Aloha Friday • https://www.facebook.com/FestivalsofAloha/videos/318592819736269
It’s Aloha Friday and we have special “Hana Hou'' performances kicking off with Moloka‘i girl, Keaka Kaiama fresh out of the Hawaiian Music Institute through UH Maui College Moloka‘i Co-hort with kumu Keola Donaghy and featured on their compilation “Awaiāulu ʻIa E Ke Aloha No Molokaʻi,” which you can get now at mele.com. Closing out our virtual Festivals of Aloha is Josh Tatofi.
Our 2021 theme is “He aloha mauli hiwa, he aloha mauli ola.” Love from a cherished heart, a grace with the power to heal. Created by Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata. “We could all use a little extra aloha in our day. What better way to start than with aloha, it can heal” exclaimed Paleka, a longtime festival host.
2021 Festival Ribbons are now available. Proceeds generated from sale of our ribbons help to produce the events. Please call or text (808) 268-9285.
For the most up to date info visit festivalsofaloha.com and “like” us on Facebook.
Mahalo to the County of Maui - Office of Economic Development, Hiro’s ‘Ohana Grille, Blue Ginger Lanai, Hana-Maui Resort, Jaydon Isobe, Chris Cabotage, Kealopiko, Molokai Plumeria, Cody Pueo Pata, Anahaki Farms, Hana Arts, ‘Ono Loa Lanai Fine Foods, Heli Ducaroy Silva, Raymond Hiro, Simon Tajiri, Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Hana Farms, Maui Toyota, Montage Kapalua, Koali Kine Snacks, the Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club, Papa Ola Lokahi, and the Old Lahaina Luau