Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui to Premiere First Female Hawaiian Falsetto Contest in Hawai‘i

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OHA Maui Trustee, Carmen Hulu Lindsey. File photo by Wendy Osher.

The inaugural Carmen Hulu Lindsey Leo Haʻihaʻi Falsetto Contest is planned as part of this year’s Celebration of the Arts event at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua.

It will be the first female falsetto contest in Hawaiʻi, according to event organizers.  “Conventionally a kane (male) competition, Maui leads the way in a new tradition, highlighting another beautiful facet of Hawaiian music,” organizers said in announcing the event.

The inaugural contest is set to premiere on April 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

The annual Celebration of the Arts features the convening of Hawaiʻi’s many reputable artisans, educators, cultural practitioners, speakers and entertainers during the annual celebration. The event also features hands-on art, demonstrations, films, cultural panels, music and dance.


Call for Entries:

Organizers are seeking contestants for the Carmen Hulu Lindsey Leo Ha’iha’i Falsetto Contest. Interested individuals should apply with a demo at the following link.

Contestants will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Vocals/Music – Vocal Quality (Balance, Intonation, Strength); Vocal Technique (Control, Ha‘i (up/down), Glissando., Vibrato); Vocal Aesthetics (Dynamics/Expression, Individuality, Phrasing); Musicianship (Accompanied by house musicians); and Musicianship (Contestant accompanies self).
  • Hawaiian Language – Mele Background (Composer, moʻolelo; manaʻo/inspiration; amount and accuracy of moʻolelo Hawai‘i); Pronunciation/Enunciation (Articulation and command of the Hawaiian Language, Kahakō); and Technique (Haʻi/grace note in appropriate places; comfort/ease in moʻolelo delivery.
  • Overall Presentation– Grooming; Stage presence; Posture; Communication (Accurate, Enlightening, Entertaining); Delivery; and Emotion.

In addition to awards and prizes the 1st place contestant will receive $600 in cash; 2nd Place – $400 cash; and 3rd Place – $300 cash. Contestants are heavily judged on ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, and a special award will be given for Hawaiian Language. The grand prize will be a professional recording ED (four songs) sponsored by: Nāpua Greig – Pihana Productions, Michael Casil – I-Vibe Productions and Wailau Ryder.


“I’m honored to be joining the prestigious tradition as the namesake to the first wahine falsetto contest,” said Lindsey.

Carmen Hulu Lindsey has represented Maui as an OHA trustee since January 2012 and is a long-time member of the ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu and the Central Maui Hawaiian Civic Club. A professional entertainer and recording artist “Hulu” won the 2014 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards Female vocalist of the year for Hulu Lindsey, “A He Leo Wale No E” (Kahulu). In addition she has been featured on many projects and complications. Most recently on the album, “Lei Nahonoapi‘ilani” recording the song “Ka Wai ‘O Eleile.”

“Unlike any other cultural and arts event, Celebration of the Arts gives attendees the opportunity to gain authentic insight into the Hawaiian culture by creating their own art piece, conversing with practitioners and artisans and consuming some of Hawaii’s finest cuisine,” said Andrew Rogers, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. “This year, we are excited to welcome the Carmen Hulu Lindsey Leo Ha‘iha‘i Falsetto Contest to add a new dimension to this event’s cultural commitment. As our journey continues to evolve each year and as we focus on growth and progress, we look forward to Celebration of the Arts continuing to have a positive and profound impact upon everyone in attendance.”

“In its 29th year, The Celebration of the Arts gathers the finest traditional artisans and contemporary artists to share and discuss na mea Hawai‘i… all things Hawaiian. It offers an enjoyable atmosphere for the entire family to learn, discuss and suggest possible paths to create a partnership for the future. We are proud to host and honor Aunty Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey as we pay tribute to the art of Leo Ha‘iha‘i (falsetto singing) for wahine (women),” said Clifford Naeole, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua’s Hawaiian Cultural Advisor and creator of the Celebration of the Arts.


“Physically it seems more challenging for a male to sing in higher octaves, but control and pronunciation is what the judges are looking for, in addition to being pleasant to the ear,” said event coordinator Daryl Fujiwara. “We invite all wahine who love Mele Hawai‘i to join us at the Celebration of the Arts April 10. Kick off your Merrie Monarch week with us in Kapalua.

The Carmen Hulu Lindsey Leo Ha‘iha‘i Falsetto Contest is brought to you by Festivals of Aloha, Pihana Productions, I-Vibes Productions, Wailau Ryder, Lokahi Pacific and the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

Tickets and sponsorship are available at

Awa Ceremony, Celebration of the Arts. PC: (file) The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.


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