Maui Arts & Entertainment

Haliimaile Maui resident takes top honors at Festivals of Aloha Falsetto contest

September 27, 2010, 11:48 AM HST
* Updated October 22, 10:10 AM
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A Maui man, whose name means excellence, finished on top in this year’s 9th Annual Richard Hoopii Leo Kie Kie Falsetto contest held over the weekend at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua.  Po’okela Woods of Haliimaile, Maui earned both the Grand Prize and the Hawaiian Language, Ka Wahi Kapu O Honokahua Award, for his rendition of Ka Loke.

Po`okela Woods, winner of the 2010 Richard Hoopii Falsetto competition. Photo coutesy: Lisa Villiarimo from Festivals of Aloha photo library.

Po`okela Woods, winner of the 2010 Richard Hoopii Falsetto competition. Photo courtesy Lisa Villiarimo from Festivals of Aloha photo library

He takes home a $500 cash prize as well as a commemorative trophy made by Alyka and John Clark, and a $100 gift certificate from Sig Zane Design.  He also receives a one-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua for winning the Hawaiian Language award.  The criteria included pronunciation, enunciation, phrasing, and completion of thought, technique and usage of specific Hawaiian idioms of Hawaiian falsetto.

There were a total of seven falsetto contestants competing in this year’s event in a field that included male singers over the age of 18 from Oahu, Lanai and Maui.  2nd Place honors went to Chad K. Campbell of Lanai City for his interpretation of the song Ku’ulei Awaphui.  Third Place was awarded to Kawelo Darisay of Lahaina, Maui for his performance of I Kona.

To honor the perpetuation of the art of Falsetto two boys also sang at the event, Kaulike Pescaia, Middle School and Kamalei Kawa`a High School students.

The event was emceed by Alaka‘i Paleka, of KPOA 93.5 FM; and was judged by UHMC Hawaiian Language instructor Kiope Raymond, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Kalama Hawaiian Language Immersion teacher Luana Kawa’a,  KPOA radio personality Allen “Poki” Pokipala, and former falsetto winner and entertainer Pueo Pata.


The event is part of this year’s Festivals of Aloha, Maui Nui Style—a multi-island celebration that pays tribute to Hawaiian culture and the people of Maui Nui. Sharing the unique island traditions of Maui, Molokai and Lanai with malihini (visitors) and kama’aina (residents) alike, the events include parades, street parties, concerts and family activities, as well as special festivities in Hana.


This year’s Festivals of Aloha is entitled He Manao`o Aloha `ia, Gaining Knowledge Through Aloha.  The kalo image integrates the islands of Maui Nui, including the often forgotten island of Kaho`olawe – each recognized with their own individual 2010 Festivals of Aloha ribbon color.  Ribbons are on sale for $5 each. Super ribbons are available for $20 each and include all four ribbons from Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kaho`olawe islands.

The events are sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, County of Maui, Tri-Isle RC&D, Inc., The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hasegawa General Store, Hotel Hana Maui , Hana Cultural Center, Information Analytics, Mala Wailea; Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa; Pacific Radio Group; KPOA 93.5 FM; A&B Foundation; The Maui Mall Merchants Association; Native Intelligence, Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono, Wailuku First Friday and Connec, LLC.

(Posted by Wendy Osher)


***** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF CANOES.

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