40th Annual Na Mele O Maui Song & Art Competition - Kaanapali Resort
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40th Annual Na Mele O Maui Song & Art Competition

Ka Hoʻoilina Leo a Hoʻopiʻi Brothers
the Vocal Legacy of the Hoʻopiʻi Brothers

WAILUKU, MAUI, Hawaiʻi — The 40th Annual Nā Mele O Maui Song & Art Competition will be held on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 9 am – 1:30 pm, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.  Sponsored by Kāʻanapali Beach Resort, Maui’s only county wide Hawaiian song and art competition is dedicated to cultural preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian mele, language and arts. This year’s theme, Ka Hoʻoilina Leo a Hoʻopiʻi Brothers, will showcase the vocal legacy of the late Solomon Hoʻopiʻi and brother Richard Hoʻopiʻi, of the Hoʻopiʻi Brothers. Artwork will be inspired by the events, stories and places depicted in songs by the Hoʻopiʻi Brothers.

In honor of this celebration, Richard will perform at the song contest. The families of Solomon and Richard will attend. Family, friends, and the general public are invited to attend this FREE event. Donations are accepted at the door.

Classes from kindergarten to grade twelve will participate in the song competition. Each class is required to perform two songs in Hawaiian. The first is the Contest Song chosen by the committee to fit the theme; there is a different song for each grade division. The second song is a Choice Song selected by participating classes to reflect the theme.

Classroom choirs are judged on musical competence, language proficiency and interpretation, stage presence, and all-around enthusiasm.

Prizes are awarded based on overall scores within grade level divisions. A combination of scores for the two songs determines the winner in each grade division and the overall winner of the entire competition.  This year’s song competition judges are: Reiko Fukino, music judge; Papaikanīʻau Kaiʻanui, language; and Pueo Pata, overall judge.

The 2012 Art Competition finalists will be recognized during a special awards presentation. The winning artwork will be on display. Art competition judges include Steve Brinkman, photographer; Bonnie Friedman, arts/culture; and Todd Campbell, woodcarver.

Nā Mele O Maui continues through generous community support from Kā‘anapali Beach Resort, AKAKŪ, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association – Maui Region and Mele Ukulele.

About Hoʻopiʻi Brothers: The Hoʻopiʻi brothers were raised in Kahakuloa, Maui. Solomon was born March 28, 1935, and Richard was born March 15, 1941. Their father, Frank Hoʻopiʻi, was a schoolteacher who stressed discipline and church values to his large family. Their mother, Abigail Lum Lung Hoʻopiʻi Kenolio, insisted that the family attend church on Sundays and at other times during the week when work needed to be done or services was held.

Through the years, Richard and Solomon developed a distinctive sound. Their music was marked by its open, robust style of falsetto singing that included all the ornaments, register breaks, and changes in timbre carried over from ancient chant. These were all features of the himeni (harmonic) style of leo ki`eki`e. They typically accompanied themselves on the ʻukulele.

In the 1970s, they formed a duo, the “Hoʻopiʻi Brothers”, and with assistance from the Hawaiian Music Foundation, they began performing professionally in concerts and at hula festivals. Their first album, entitled “No Ka Oi”, was released in 1975. Four other albums issued on the Poki label followed this. In the 1980s, Francis Kuʻailani joined them on bass, though they continued to perform as a duo and with another group called “Da Bunch”, which included Aunty Genoa Keawe, Aunty Violet Lilikoʻi, Ledward Kaapana, Huanani Apoliona, and the late Barney Isaacs.

Some of their signature songs will be performed at the 2012 Nā Mele O Maui Song Competition. They include Na Pua Ka Ilima, Wahine Ilikea, Ua Nani Molokai, Ahulili, Kokeʻe and Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai.

In 1997, the Hoʻopiʻi Brothers were recipients of the Prestigious Nation Endowment of the Arts Folk Heritage Fellowship, American’s highest honor for traditional artists.  In addition, they received the Nå Hoku Hanohano Hawaiian Music 1997 Group Album of the Year Award.  Together they recorded seven albums and performed widely.

Solomon Hoʻopiʻi died March 1, 2006. He is survived by his wife Gladys and their nine children including five daughters and four sons and more than 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Richard Hoʻopiʻi lives in Kahakuloa with his wife, Ululani.

About Nā Mele O Maui: Established in 1972 for the youth of Maui County, Nā Mele O Maui strives to foster education and enlightenment of Hawaiiʻs heritage. In 2002, the event was honored with the prestigious Kahili Award in the Hawai`i Visitors & Convention Bureau’s “Keep It Hawai‘i” annual awards program. Nā Mele O Maui helps instill pride in our youth by providing a rare opportunity for many of them to perform in public and compete for excellence with the support of the community. For more information, call Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association, at 808-661-3271 or visit www.kaanapaliresort.com


Charlene Kaʻuhane
Kaʻuhane Inc.
Office: 808-243-2290
Fax: 808-243-2211
Email:  Charlene@KauhaneInc.com