State Holidays and Song for May

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

State Holidays and Song is the title of the program on Wednesday, May 30 at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui.

State Holidays and Song is the title of my program on Wednesday, May 30 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We will learn about Kamehameha Day and Kuhio Day and the significance behind these two state holidays honoring Hawai’i’s royalty. Plus we will sing some songs related to the time period and learn the stories behind the songs in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions.

Participants can follow the song’s lyrics and ‘ukulele chords projected onto the large screen at the front of the room (similar to Sing-Along with Mitch Miller). All ‘ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along as I lead everyone by singing and playing my ‘ukulele while my husband accompanies us on ‘ukulele-bass.

Similar to the new additions in my Sing-Along with Mele Fong series, there is a slide before each song that shows the unique strum graphic (how we play the rhythm) and the chord shapes with corresponding finger numbers for playing the ‘ukulele. Don’t worry if you don’t know the ‘ukulele chords or the unique strumming pattern for the songs. The focus is on learning Hawaiian history, singing the songs, finding out the stories behind them, and enjoying the group experience.

Lunch is optional and a good time to sit around and talk story with like minded people who enjoy Hawaiian history, singing, and playing the ‘ukulele.

SIGN UP NOW by calling 808-270-7308.

This program is the second of the new Hawaiian History and Song series for 2018 on the 5th Wednesdays of the month. The next program is titled Legacies of Hawaiian Leaders scheduled for August 29.

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KEEP HAWAIIAN MUSIC ALIVE from wherever you live! Click here.

  1. Download Single Song lessons to your digital device
  2. Purchase Packaged Song Sets of book/DVD/CD for Nostalgic Hawaiian songs
  3. Schedule Private Webcam Lessons for feedback
  4. Subscribe to Complete Monthly Online Lessons and learn many Hawaiian songs
  5. Listen to free audio recordings of Hawaiian songs and then schedule lessons to learn how to play them

Whether you are a beginnerintermediate, or advanced ‘ukulele  player, you can have fun learning to play the Ukulele Mele Way from wherever you live!

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele

Review Serenaders’ Mother’s Day Concert

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders performed a Mother’s Day Concert at Kula Hospital on Maui. The next concert will be Father’s Day.

“You made my day. I’m coming early to your Father’s Day Concert so I can sit up front,” commented a Kula Hospital resident after our Mother’s Day Concert from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 13. The woman talked to us at length about how happy she was to listen to our music (and we had noticed her singing along during the concert). We were told to expect up to 75 people at our concert outdoors.

My husband and I performed as the duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders, on ‘ukulele, u-bass, and vocals to upbeat, fun, sing-along songs that were familiar to the senior audience. We heard comments that they liked the variety of songs in different languages (Filipino, Japanese, Hispanic, and Hawaiian) that are popular in Hawaii. One lady commented on how much my personality came through and how much she enjoyed our music. We started our set 10-minutes early and sang a couple of songs by memory after we ran out of the planned songs for the one-hour set.

Total: 20 songs of different genres and rhythms:

  1. Medley: Beer Barrel Polka/Tavern in the Town – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  2. Medley: Shine on Harvest Moon/Moonlight Bay – I Wanna Rest Strum
  3. Ulupalakua – Olapa Strum
  4. Medley: Happy Days/Ain’t She Sweet – Tom Tom/I Wanna Rest Strums
  5. Medley: La Bamba/Twist and Shout – Latin Strum
  6. Que Sera, Sera – 2 Waltz Strums
  7. Medley: Yes Sir That’s My Baby/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah
  8. Dahil Sa Iyo – Bossa Nova Strum
  9. When You’re Smiling – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  10. My Little Grass Shack – I Wanna Rest Strum
  11. Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  12. M-O-T-H-E-R – Pick in 4 Strum
  13. Sukiyaki – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  14. Medley: Sea Breeze/Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum
  15. Hey Good Lookin’ – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  16. Sweet Someone – I Wanna Rest Strum
  17. Singin’ in the Rain – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  18. Kupa Landing – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  19. To You Sweetheart Aloha – I Wanna Rest Strum
  20. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum

We will return to Kula Hospital to present a Father’s Day Concert from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 17. Our show set will include four songs that a nurse requested we play the next time to accompany her hula dancing. The first time we performed at the Kula Hospital was in October 2010 when we brought members of our Maui Ukulele Pops Band comprised of my ukulele students from Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We were pleased that the same Activities Coordinator still works at the hospital and remembered us!

For more information about our entertainment services:

.Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Serenaders Present Mother’s Day Show on Maui

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders present a Mother’s Day Concert on Sunday, May 13 at 10 a.m. at Kula Hospital on Maui.

My husband and I will be presenting a special Mother’s Day concert on Sunday, May 13 at 10 a.m. at Kula Hospital at 100 Keokea Place in upcountry Maui. We will a play a variety of songs including some sing-alongs.

The last time we performed at Kula Hospital was in October 2010 when we brought students from my Ukulele Pops Band. We were pleased that the Activity Coordinator who helped us then remembered us now and has welcomed us back. We anticipate about 75 patients and their families to attend. This is part of our effort to give back to the community.

For more information about the entertainment services of our duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders, click here.

Mele Fong at her Mom’s 93rd birthday party in 2016. Mom died in 2017 before Mother’s Day and her next birthday.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Flower and Lei Songs 2018

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Twenty three people signed up for the monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series – Flower and Lei Songs program on May 3, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui.

“I’ll be back and I’ll bring my friends,” commented a first time participant after the program.

Twenty-three people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Flower and Lei Songs on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii as both the unique Hawaiian cultural occasion and the song that is celebrated on the first day of May in Hawaii nei. Read more by clicking here.

The “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room, and having my husband provide the u-bass line to fill in the lower tones to the higher pitched ‘ukulele worked great! We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs, the story behind each song whether it was Hawaiian or not, and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang nine songs (omitting a prepared tenth song) during the 75-minute program including Hawai’i Aloha (in the Hawaiian language) that is traditionally sung to end a public event in Hawaii. Here is the song list with my unique ‘ukulele strums:

  1. May Day is Lei Day – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Pua Ahihi – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  3. For You a Lei – Bossa Nova and Latin Strums.
  4. Pua Lililehua – Morse Code Strum.
  5. My Yellow Ginger Lei – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  6. Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums.
  7. He Aloha Mele – Latin Strums.
  8. Maile Lei For Your Hair – Bossa Nova Strum.
  9. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW UKULELE PLAYERS CAN LEARN THE ABOVE SONGS FROM WHEREVER YOU LIVE:

LISTEN TO THE RECORDINGS IN THE FREE ONLINE FAN CLUB and then schedule private lessons on Maui or via webcam to get the song sheets and feedback on how to play it.

  1. From the Hawaiian Songs Category – Pua Ahihi and Pua Lililehua.
  2. From the Hapa Haole Songs Category – For You a Lei, Maile Lei For Your Hair, May Day is Lei Day, My Yellow Ginger Lei.
  3. See all categories of songs with over 100+ audio recordings that you can sing and play along with professional entertainers on voice, ukulele, and ukulele-bass.

DOWNLOAD A SINGLE SONG PURCHASE to your digital device. Get the song sheets, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song for only the song you select.

  1. Hawaii Aloha
  2. Pua Lilia
  3. See all Single Song Purchases

SUBSCRIBE TO ONLINE LESSONS. Get the song sheets, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song for 16 songs with unique strumming styles for beginners to intermediate ukulele players. Select the One Month Trial or the Recurring Monthly Package.

  1. Advanced Online Lessons aka Complete Monthly Online Lessons – Hawaii Aloha, Pua Lilia, and 48 other songs.

PURCHASE A PACKAGED SONG SET OF BOOK/DVD/CD. Get the song sheets, video lesson, and audio recording for 6 songs with 8 unique strumming styles for beginners to advance ukulele players.

  1. Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs, Vol. 2 – Hawai’i Aloha, Pua Lilia, plus 4 other songs for intermediate ‘ukulele players.
  2. See all packaged song sets

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Small Kid Time Songs on Friday, June 15.

Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa and see photos from past classes for more information.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

History Behind May Day in Hawaii

May Day Queen

Mele Fong was crowned by teachers at Kahala Elementary School as May Day queen in 1967. Mele was selected based on academic achievements and happened to be the first queen of Native Hawaiian ancestry. This photo shows Mele and her proud mom before the royal court entered the area. Mele was 12 years-old and in the sixth grade.

“May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” is a song and a special occasion celebrated on the first of May in Hawaii Nei. The song was composed by Leonard “Red” Hawk in 1928 for the first Lei Day festival. Later in 1943, the composer adapted the words to the times and wrote “My War Lei” to emphasize the use of war stamps for leis during WWII.

May Day (May 1st) is also celebrated as Lei Day in Hawaii. Invented in 1927, Don Blanding wrote an article in the local newspaper suggesting that a holiday be created around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. Fellow writer Grace Tower Warren came up with the idea of a holiday on May 1st in conjunction with May Day. She also came up with the phrase “May Day is Lei Day.”

The first Lei Day was held on May 1, 1928 and everyone in Honolulu was encouraged to wear lei, and festivities were held downtown with hula, music, lei making demos and exhibits and contest.

Originally from Oklahoma, Don Blanding is also credited with inventing the custom of tossing your lei overboard when you sailed from Honolulu. If the lei came back to shore, it meant you would return.

May Day is also the time for school events. When I was in the 6th grade, I was crowned by teachers at Kahala Elementary School as May Day queen in 1967. I was selected based on academic achievements and happened to be the first queen of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Along with the king and our court of princesses representing each of the main Hawaiian Islands, we presided over the day’s activities for grades K-6. Each class performed a hula or another cultural dance for May Day.

LEARN TO PLAY my arrangement of “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” with the Hum Ding-Ah Strum in the key of G with 5-chords for ukulele. Listen to the audio recording and then request private webcam lessons from wherever you live and I will send you the song sheets and teach you how to play it.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Kamehameha Day at the Nation’s Capitol

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

U.S. Senator Akaka, Mele Fong, U.S. Rep Neil Abercrombie, and Richard Tom in front of King  Kamehameha statue in Statuary Hall in Washington DC, 1997

On June 8, 1997, I led the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Chorale during the Kamehameha Day ceremony honoring Hawaii’s first king in Washington, D.C. Our group sang “Hole Waimea” about the place on the Big Island of Hawaii where Kamehameha grew up and “Nā Ali’i about the chiefs and their famous sayings. My husband and I also sang “Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani” while Ipolani Lung danced hula to the song written by Queen Lili’uokalani about her home in Waikīkī. Kamehameha Schools alumnus U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka from Hawaii gave a talk about the national significance of King Kamehameha who united the Hawaiian islands into one kingdom in 1810.

After the program, my husband and I had the honor of taking a picture with Senator Akaka and U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie (from Hawaii) in front of King Kamehameha’s statue draped with leis. The Kamehameha Day ceremony has been happening at our Nation’s Capitol every year since 1969 when the statue of King Kamehameha was unveiled in Statuary Hall.

In 2008, the Kamehameha statue was moved to the new Visitors Center where the Kamehameha Day ceremony hosted by Hawaii State Society continues to this day.

On May 30, 2018, I will be presenting a talk about Kamehameha Day as part of my Hawaiian History and Song Series on the 5th Wednesdays of the month at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We will be singing a few songs about King Kamehameha and more.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Sing Flower and Lei Songs for May

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Join in singing flower and lei songs to celebrate May Day is Lei Day (May 1st) for the monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on May 3 on Maui.

Join in singing flower and lei songs to celebrate May Day is Lei Day (May 1st) for the monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, May 3 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. Learn the history behind May Day in Hawaii.

My sing-along program is one of a monthly series that evokes the feeling of sing-along with Mitch Miller programs as the lyrics and ‘ukulele chords are projected on the large screen in the front of room for everyone to follow. ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along as I lead everyone by singing and playing my ‘ukulele while my husband accompanies us on ‘ukulele-bass. Don’t worry if you don’t know the ‘ukulele chords or the unique strumming pattern for the songs. The focus is on singing the songs, finding out the stories behind them, and enjoying the group experience.

Why are people returning? “It’s fun!” is what I’ve heard.

Lunch is optional and recommended as a good time to meet people who enjoy learning the Ukulele Mele Way. Kaunoa Senior Center is located in Spreckelsville, Maui.

SIGN UP NOW by calling 808-270-7308.

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Other learning options with Ukulele Mele:

Whether you are a beginnerintermediate, or advanced ‘ukulele player, you can have fun learning to play the Ukulele Mele Way from wherever you live!

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele

Review Hula Songs Sing-Along Program

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

June Jones visiting from Arizona commented how excited she was to take ukulele classes again from Mele Fong after many years. Photo shows Richard Tom (Mele’s husband), Mele Fong, and June Jones at the start of the monthly “Sing-Along with Mele Fong” series at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui.

“Singing these songs brought back memories of my sister learning hula when we were growing up,” commented one lady after the Hula Songs program. June Jones visiting from Arizona commented how excited she was to take ukulele classes again from Mele Fong after many years.

Twenty-three people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hula Songs on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about April 1-7 being the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long event in Hilo, Hawai’i that features an internationally acclaimed hula competition and more dedicated to the memory of King David Kalākaua, also known as the “Merrie Monarch” for his fun loving ways and support of Hawaiian music and hula. Read more by clicking here.

The “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room, and having my husband provide the u-bass line to fill in the lower tones to the higher pitched ‘ukulele worked great! New for this program I changed the graphic layout, background color, and font to Arial after learning this font is the easiest to read at a distance. These changes were in addition to a slide showing the strum graphic and ukulele chord shape images before each song. We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs, the story behind each song whether it was Hawaiian or not, and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang all ten songs that we had prepared for the 75-minute program including Hawai’i Aloha (in the Hawaiian language) that is traditionally sung to end a public event in Hawai’i. Here is the song list with my unique ‘ukulele strums:

  1. Keep Your Eyes on the Hands – I Wanna Rest Strum and 4And Strum.
  2. Papalina Lahilahi – ‘Ōlapa Strum.
  3. Hula Lolo – I Wanna Rest Strum and 4And Strum.
  4. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strums.
  5. Hukilau Song – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  6. E Huli Makou – ‘Ōlapa Strum.
  7. My Little Grass Shack – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  8. Sophisticated Hula – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum.
  9. Lovely Hula Hands – I Wanna Rest and 4And Strum.
  10. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW UKULELE PLAYERS CAN LEARN THE ABOVE SONGS FROM WHEREVER YOU LIVE:

LISTEN TO THE RECORDINGS IN THE FREE ONLINE FAN CLUB and then schedule private lessons on Maui or via webcam to get the song sheets and feedback on how to play it.

  1. From the Hawaiian Songs Category – E Huli Makou, Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai, and Papalina Lahilahi.
  2. From the Hapa Haole Songs Category – Hukilau Song, Hula Lolo, Keep Your Eyes on the Hands, Lovely Hula Hands, My Little Grass Shack, and Sophisticated Hula.
  3. See all categories of songs with over 100+ audio recordings that you can sing and play along with professional entertainers on voice, ukulele, and ukulele-bass.

DOWNLOAD A SINGLE SONG PURCHASE to your digital device. Get the song sheets, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song for only the song you select.

  1. Hawaii Aloha
  2. See all Single Song Purchases

PURCHASE A PACKAGED SONG SET OF BOOK/DVD/CD. Get the song sheets, video lesson, and audio recording for 6 songs with 8 unique strumming styles for beginners to advance ukulele players.

  1. Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs, Vol. 2 – Hawai’i Aloha plus 5 other songs for intermediate ‘ukulele players.
  2. See all packaged song sets

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Flower and Lei Songs on Thursday, May 3.

Visit my webpage about classes at Kaunoa and see photos from past classes for more information.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Sing Hula Songs on April 5, 2018

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Hula songs to celebrate the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival from April 1-7 at Hilo, Hawaii is the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui.

Hula songs to celebrate the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival from April 1 -7 at Hilo, Hawaii is the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, April 5 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.  Learn more about the Merrie Monarch Festival by clicking here.

My sing-along program is one of a monthly series that evokes the feeling of sing-along with Mitch Miller programs as the lyrics and ‘ukulele chords are projected on the large screen in the front of room for everyone to follow. ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along as I lead everyone by singing and playing my ‘ukulele while my husband accompanies us on ‘ukulele-bass. Don’t worry if you don’t know the ‘ukulele chords or the unique strumming pattern for the songs. The focus is on singing the songs, finding out the stories behind them, and enjoying the group experience.

Why are people returning? “It’s fun!” is what I’ve heard.

Lunch is optional and recommended as a good time to meet people who enjoy learning the Ukulele Mele Way. Kaunoa Senior Center is located in Spreckelsville, Maui.

SIGN UP NOW by calling 808-270-7308.

**********************************************************

Other learning options with Ukulele Mele:

Whether you are a beginnerintermediate, or advanced ‘ukulele player, you can have fun learning to play the Ukulele Mele Way from wherever you live!

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele

History Behind the Merrie Monarch Festival

“Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people” — King David Kalākaua.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival is April 1-7 in Hilo, Hawaii. The week-long event features an internationally acclaimed hula competition and is dedicated to King David Kalakaua, a patron of the arts.

This year marks the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long event in Hilo, Hawai’i that features an internationally acclaimed hula competition, invitational Hawaiian arts fair and grand parade dedicated to the memory of King David Kalākaua, also known as the “Merrie Monarch.” The festival is held annually during the week after Easter, this year being April 1-7.

The Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce began the festival in 1963 to perpetuate, preserve, and promote the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture. Five years later, a community non-profit organization was formed “that honors the legacy of King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of our traditions, native language and arts.”

Kalākaua was the seventh and last king of the Hawaiian Nation. He was elected in 1874 and reigned until he died in 1891. During his day, Hawaiian beliefs and traditions were suppressed after many years under Christian missionary teachings. Ancient Hawaiians had no written language and used chants and hula to record such things as genealogy and to pass on stories. Kalākaua was a patron of the arts, especially music and dance, and advocated for a renewed sense in all things Hawaiian. At Kalākaua’s royal coronation in 1883, there were public displays of hula for the first time since the missionaries’ arrival in 1820. In 1886, Kalākaua celebrated his 50th birthday known as the Silver Jubilee with two-weeks of festivities including chant and hula dancers performing in public. Every year the Merrie Monarch Festival continues what King David Kalākaua started by hosting a week-long festival to show Hawaiian cultural pride is alive and well in Hilo, Hawai’i.

Kalākaua was also a supporter of ‘ukulele playing. In 1879, three fine wood craftsmen from Madeira, an island off Portugal, immigrated to Hawai’i and brought with them the braguiha or machete that evolved into what we know today as Hawai’i’s official instrument, the ‘ukulele.

‘Ukulele players can keep Hawaiian music alive by learning Hawaiian songs and stories the Ukulele Mele Way by clicking here.

 

Singers and ‘ukulele players are invited to my monthly “Sing-Along with Mele Fong” series with the theme of hula songs in honor of the Merrie Monarch Festival on Thursday, April 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Kaunoa Senior Center in Maui. Write me for information.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele