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.