The winners of Lahaina Cannery Mall’s second annual SING IT! Youth Competition took home a combined $1,800 in prize money following the June 23 event. The youth singing battle was once again hosted at the mall’s center stage, which features free entertainment weekly. The mall and the center stage are undergoing construction, but remain open and the weekly entertainment is continues.
14-year-old Tasha Aco’s performance of Adele’s “When We Were Young” earned first place with a $1,000 prize. The second place prize of $500 went to 14-year-old Leimana Purdy, who sang the Hawaiian song “Nani Nani Yenuse” by Napalapalai. The third place winner, with a $300 prize, was Jena Makai, 15, for her performance of “Burn” from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Ten teens in all competed for the cash prizes.
KAOI Radio DJ Cindy Paulos emceed SING IT! and the panel of judges featured KAOI Radio’s Jack Gist and two Maui musicians, Kula singer-guitarist Mitch Kepa and multi-talented vocalist Gina Martinelli.
Lahaina Cannery launched the annual SING IT! competition to support youth and the arts on Maui; many of the contestants also participate in performing arts classes and theater groups including Maui Academy of Performing Arts. “The level of talent displayed by the young performers was outstanding, and the audience experienced chicken skin song after song,” Paulos said.