Maui Arts & Entertainment

27th Annual Hawaiian Music Competition Now Open

June 8, 2011, 10:49 AM HST
* Updated June 8, 12:20 PM
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Last year's winner was the musical group Ho`opi`i. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Pacific Entertainment.

By Sonia Isotov

The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame is now accepting contest submissions for the 27th Annual “Ka Himeni Ana” Hawaiian music competition.

Contestants will be judged by the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame on the quality of their vocal harmony, use of Hawaiian language, and overall musicianship. Applications must be received on or before July 15th. Winners will be announced at a special event on Saturday, August 27th, at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu. Six cash prizes range from $200 to $1,200 will be presented.

The “Ka Himeni Ana” Music Competition was founded by Richard M. Towill and features amateur Hawaiian music groups performing in the “nahenahe” style, the distinctive Hawaiian music form characterized by sweet vocal harmony supported by unamplified acoustic instruments.

Rules for the competition include:

  • Competition is open to amateur Hawaiian music groups containing 2 – 5 members (no solo acts).
  • At least half of the group must perform with and play an instrument.
  • Instruments shall be “acoustic”—no electric or amplified instruments except Hawaiian steel guitar maybe electric and use a small amplifier.
  • No microphones are allowed for instruments or vocals.
  • Contestants will be judged on the quality of their vocal harmony, use of Hawaiian language, and overall musicianship.
  • Song selections must be restricted to compositions authored prior to 1945, or if post 1945 or new original composition, shall be in the “nahenahe” style.
  • Although First Place winning groups may not enter subsequent contests, individual singers may participate as members of other groups.

The application is available on the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame website.

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