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Choosing Hall of Fame Honorees

We're often asked, "How are Hall of Fame inductees chosen each year?"

Selection of those gifted composers, musicians and vocalists to be honored in the Hall of Fame is made from a carefully researched list. Each year, the Advisory Board chooses several gifted ones to be honored who have been instrumental in creating and perpetuating Hawai`i's unique musical "voice". Some have created a sea change in music style; some have composed songs that express the essence of aloha. Others, over more than a century of our Islands' history, have tuned the ears of the world to Hawaiian music through incomparable vocalization and instrumental performance.

"We still have a long list to go," says the Advisory Board chairman, Kahauanu Lake, adding "this is not a popularity contest, but rather an historical journey through Hawai`i's rich culture of music and its influence on our Islands' history."

The criteria for selection of musical artists to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is strict:

  1. The creation of a musical or hula composition(s) that features the use of Hawaiian language and/or poetic style which evidences the highest level of skill, creativity, and /or nuance.
  2. The origination of a Hawaiian musical or hula form or outstanding work that preserves an existing Hawaiian music or hula form.
  3. Lasting impact and/or continuing popularity of work in the field of Hawaiian music or hula.
  4. Work that expands the recognition of Hawaiian music or hula within and/or beyond Hawai’i.

"People ask 'why isn't so-and-so in the Hall of Fame?'", Mr. K comments. " I tell them ho`omanawanui - be patient."

Since Na Lani Eha, The Royal Four, all of them composers, musicians and vocalists, began their patronage of Hawai`i's music culture, the signature history and legends of Hawai`i have made their way into musical expression. The character of it is so unique that on hearing a Hawaiian song, people around the world who may never have visited the Hawaiian Islands, or speak a language other than their own, know the word "Hawai`i".

Many members of the Hall of Fame Advisory Selection Board received their musical training at home as small children. They were taught the words and tunes by rote, from a parent or grandparent; the songs they learned were passed down by ear, in the traditional Hawaiian manner, as few of the old songs had ever been written down. Several of the Board members are third and fourth generation of well-known families in Hawaiian music.

The Board of Directors applauds our music Advisors for their serious commitment to a difficult task.

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Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 4717, Honolulu, HI 96812-4717
Phone: (808) 372-8921
Fax: (808) 596-8680
Email: HMHoF