On Saturday, September 26th, twenty-six keiki participated in The Maui Youth Ukulele Contest. It’s the very competition that gave Derrick Sebastian his start (check out this early-August Music Scene story about Sebastian, where he credits an early mentor/this contest as being the beginning of his career; along with this week’s Plugs & Slugs by Jacob Shafer re: Sebastian’s plans to share his music with youth), and is in it’s 13th year, hosted by Hula Grill.
This year, Sebastian judged the competition along with Ernest Puaa, Peter De Aquino, Kevin Brown, and George Kahumoku.
In a press release received today, the winners were announced:
Division 2: (3rd – 5th grade)
1st place: Kaulike Pescaia – Kihei Elementary, 5th grade
Division 3: (6th – 8th grade)
1st place: Kieran Clark – Sacred Hearts, 6th grade
2nd place: Mika Kane – Kamehameha, 8th grade
3rd place: Max Beccera – Maui Prepatory Academy, 6th grade
4th place: Cory Erben – Lokelani Intermediate, 6th grade
Division 4: (9th – 12th grade)
1st place: Ashley Toda – Seabury, 11th grade
2nd place: Gabriel Goebbert – Kihei Charter, 11th grade
Bryson Vega, Siaosi Ngalu, William Nipp and Aaron Morton (8th grade, Kamehameha)
Gabriel Goebbert (Kihei Charter, Junior), Austin Carvalho (Baldwin High, Junior) and Kaimakoa Guy (Maui High, Junior)
Jared Vasques, RC Javier, Ikaika Lumlung, and Alfredo Malapira (Lahainaluna High, Seniors)
According to the press release from Becker Communications, “[c]ontestants were judged on ukulele performance (including strumming, rhythm, and picking), singing and stage presence, originality, their brief introduction, off stage attitude (I like that aspect the best!), and keeping within the time limit.”
Additionally, it’s important to mention that, “[t]he contest was made possible thanks to the support of several generous sponsors including Maui Jim Sunglasses, Leilanis 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.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!