Sing Island Songs for August 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Sing Island Songs to celebrate Admissions Day

In celebration of Admissions Day when Hawaii became the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959, join us for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series: Island  Songs on Thursday, August 17 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better.

This 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 uke 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!”

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

Serenader Debut at Lumeria Maui

“Thank you for giving us such beautiful music tonight. We so appreciate your serenading with the soulful nahenahe to soothe everyone. Much aloha, Dr. B”

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders performed for 32 people attending the Maui Cancer Wellness Retreat on August 4 at Lumeria

The Hawaiian Serenaders, comprised of my husband Rich on u-bass and myself on ‘ukulele, entertained 32 people attending the Maui Cancer Wellness Retreat on Friday, August 4 at Lumeria Maui. This was our debut of playing music for dining guests at the restaurant. The opportunity came about after I read a Maui News article about Dr. Bridget Bongaard, a board-certified internal medicine physician who was directing the first MCWR, and I offered our musical services. It was the right thing to do. Many cancer survivors came up to us after dinner to express their appreciation of our music, and some took pictures with us. A few ladies who were practicing yoga near to the restaurant also came up to thank us for our music.

We purposefully picked our song list of easy listening hapa haole songs with a mix of tempo, strums, and feel, and played all the following except for “Singing Bamboo” during our 1-hour set:

  1. Kupa Landing
  2. Hanalei Moon
  3. Ku’u Morning Dew
  4. On The Beach at Waikiki
  5. Pagan Love Song
  6. For You A Lei
  7. Song of Old Hawaii
  8. Uwehi Ami and Slide
  9. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia
  10. I’ll Weave a Lei of Stars for You
  11. Shells
  12. Ka Pua E
  13. Lahaina
  14. My Yellow Ginger Lei
  15. Singing Bamboo
  16. Lovely Hula Hands
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

We set up to perform in the middle of the porch of Lumeria’s restaurant (another table for 16 is out of the picture).

My arrangements for most of the songs we performed at Lumeria can be found in my free online Fan Club. ‘Ukulele players can listen to over 100 songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons on Maui or via webcam. No one else teaches my method of forming ‘ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain or strumming unique rhythms on the ‘ukulele.

For more information about our entertainment services:

The last time we performed at Lumeria was in February 2016 for the general managers wedding reception. We love the outdoor setting in upcountry Maui. To visit Lumeria’s website, click here.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Song of the Month for August

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui

Hawaii was expected to be America’s 49th state but actually became the 50th state after Alaska.

Admissions Day or Statehood Day is a state holiday in Hawaii to commemorate the admission of Hawaii as the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959. Learn more.

In celebration, learn to play Song of Old Hawaii for August’s “Fan Club Featured Song of the Month.” Note: Hawaii Record Company had expected statehood to occur earlier than it did, but as it turns out Alaska became the 49th state and Hawaii became the 50th state.

This hapa haole song (Hawaiian style music with English words) recalls a simpler time. Can you imagine the hula dancers swaying to and fro as the trade winds sigh in the heavens?

  1. Listen to the audio recording in the free online Fan Club.
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons to learn to play it from wherever you live.

I will send you the PDF song sheet for my arrangement and teach you how to play it with my unique Swing Strum for ‘ukulele. The song is in the key of C and uses 5 chords – perfect for beginner to intermediate ‘ukulele players. Other benefits of learning the Ukulele Mele Way:

  • No need to read music.
  • Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  • Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 100 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons via webcam or on Maui.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Hawaii Admissions Day 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Hawaii became the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959

On August 21, 1959, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation welcoming Hawaii as the 50th state of the union and ordered a new American flag featuring 50 stars. The new flag became official on July 4, 1960. Since 1969, Hawaii has commemorated this anniversary with a state holiday on the third Friday in August, which this year happens to fall on the 18th.

HISTORY

King Kamehameha the Great united the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom in 1810. In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Lili’uokalani, the last reigning monarch. The Republic of Hawaii was established a year later as a U.S. protectorate with Sanford B. Dole as president. In 1898, congress approved annexation after declaring Hawaii necessary for the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War. During World War II, Oahu served as command post for US operations in the Pacific following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (the Day of Infamy).

Statehood bills for Hawaii were introduced into the U.S. Congress as early as 1919 by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, the longest serving non-voting delegate elected by the people during Hawaii’s territorial days and the only person that was born a royal. It took forty years and five failed attempts (1919, 1931, 1935, 1947, and 1950) before the U.S. Congress approved the statehood bill, the Hawaii Admission Act. On June 27, 1959 Hawaii residents voted 94% in support of statehood (the ballot question was “Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted into the Union as a state?”[1]) and the rest is history.

KEEP HAWAIIAN MUSIC ALIVE!

Learn Hawaiian songs and stories from wherever you live today. Listen to audio samples and more.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statehood_Day_(Hawaii)

Review Patriotic Songs 2017

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21 people signed up for July’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Patriotic Songs at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui

“We need to sing these kind of songs about brotherhood especially during these times,” commented a singer after the program. “My friend Chris enjoyed the Sing-Along and was touched that you recognized the veterans today,” commented an ukulele student who had brought her friend Chris who was retired from 30 years in the Army.

Twenty-one people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Patriotic Songs on Thursday, July 20 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We chose the monthly theme to coincide with 4th of July celebrations around the country.

The singing was the loudest that we’ve had so far this year, probably because the songs were in English and were familiar to the crowd. One 93-year-old man who really sang out loud in a clear baritone told me before class started that he likes to sing Broadway tunes. 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!

Here are the 10 patriotic songs we learned:

  1. Yankee Doodle – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. America the Beautiful – Pick in 4 Strum.
  3. You’re a Grand Old Flag – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  4. My Country ‘Tis of Thee – Waltz Variation Strum.
  5. Yankee Doodle Boy – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  6. God Bless America – Morse Code / Pick in 4 Strums.
  7. When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  8. Home on the Range – 2 Waltz Strums.
  9. This Land is Your Land – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  10. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW TO LEARN THE ABOVE SONGS FROM WHEREVER YOU LIVE:

  1. LISTEN TO THE RECORDINGS IN THE FREE ONLINE FAN CLUB and then schedule private lessons on Maui or via webcam. I will send you the song sheets and give you feedback.
  1. PURCHASE A PACKAGED SET OF BOOK/DVD/CD to learn the songs off-line.
  1. DOWNLOAD A SINGLE SONG PURCHASE to your digital device. Get the song sheets, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song for the song you select.

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Island Songs on Thursday, August 17 as we celebrate Admissions Day when Hawaii became the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959.

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

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Kihei Library July Show

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

This was our third library program this year as sponsored by the University of Hawaii Statewide Cultural Extension Program.

It was standing room only for The Hawaiian Serenaders “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” at Kihei Public Library on Tuesday night, July 11. The venue was spacious, air conditioned, and had lots of parking, all which contributed to 49 people in attendance (the largest audience we’ve had so far at a public library). Plus, the library’s advertising efforts were great on the state library website and in the local newspapers. We got this gig because the children’s librarian heard about us from her sister who has taken my ‘ukulele classes.

“Are you the famous Mele Fong?” asked a volunteer at the library as were setting up. “We’ve seen your YouTube videos,” commented a local man before the program started.

This was the third program we presented this year at a public library as sponsored by the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program. New this time, we used the library’s PA system and we had a hula dancer, Janet Rineer, who performs in our Maui Ukulele Pops Band. We also added another banjo ukulele song and replaced a contemporary hapa haole song with a pop medley in a minor key.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

It was standing room only with 49 people attending our “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” at Kihei Library on July 11.

The program included a display of different types of ‘ukulele ranging from soprano, concert, and tenor instruments with 4, 6, and 8 strings and what they sound like. Plus we took my dad’s banjo ‘ukulele and played two songs on it. We gave a history of the ‘ukulele, and performed Hawaiian, hapa haole, and pop songs to demonstrate the diversity of music that can be played on Hawai’i’s official instrument. Rich gave a special demo of his ‘ukulele bass and played instrumental solos on it. We also led a sing-along.

We played the following ten songs and why:

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (history-King Kalakaua patronage)
  2. Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum with hula (uke began as rhythm accompaniment to singers)
  3. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (on banjo uke)
  4. Uwehi Ami & Slide – I Wanna Rest Strum (merging instrumental picking into local song)
  5. Medley: Summertime/Moondance – I Wanna Rest/4And Strum (minor key contemporary)
  6. Lahaina – Latin Strum (pop example with sing-along on chorus)
  7. Ulupalakua – ‘Ōlapa Strum with hula (Hawaiian place name song & story behind the song)
  8. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums: Thumb Strum Up/Chicken Pluck (3/4 time example)
  9. Blues in the Night – 4And Strum (change genre and change to uke with high A for picking riff)
  10. Fly Me To the Moon – Latin Strum (features u-bass solo and change genre)
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

A hula dancer did 2 songs during the program.

Afterwards, a lady thanked the library’s branch manager (who was standing in front of us) for having us perform. A young boy returned with his dad and asked if he could hold an ‘ukulele. In a few minutes I taught him to play “Are You Sleeping?” a simple 1-chord children’s song with all down strums and he did great. As we were leaving the library, a staff person behind the book counter said “You guys were great.”

The library’s branch manager was very pleased with our program. We received a thank you note from our contact the children’s librarian who was sorry she wasn’t able to attend our performance, “but I’ve heard wonderful reports of your concert and presentation.”

‘Ukulele players are invited to visit our free online Fan Club to listen to over 100 songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons. No one else teaches my method of forming ‘ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain or strumming unique rhythms on the ‘ukulele.

For more information about our entertainment services, Visit our Hawaiian Serenaders webpage or photo galleries.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Homesteading in Hana, Maui

On Saturday, June 24 we embarked on a one-day journey to Hana, Maui. This date happened to be my mom’s 94th birthday had she lived (she died in February 2017). The long and winding road led us on a trip down memory lane. I spent childhood summers with my grandparents in Hana and we still have homestead property there. Enjoy! Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The drive to Hana takes about 2 hours each way over many twists and turns and over 57 bridges.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

I remember jumping into these fresh water pools to swim with my teenage friends. The area is now an official rest stop easily accessible off the Hana highway.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Wainapanapa State Park was our first stop on the road to Hana.  I used to swim in the freshwater cave before it became popular. (Photo of husband Rich Tom)

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

We enjoyed our picnic lunch at Hana Bay. I spent many happy summers with my grandparents in Hana and Hamoa, and used to have fun swimming and jumping off the rocks into the water with my country cousins as a child.

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

After seeing our homestead property in Hamoa (just outside Hana), we headed back home and stopped at the Wailua overlook. My Aunty Maggie used to farm taro in the valley.

 

 

Sing Patriotic Songs for July

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Patriotic Songs is July’s theme for the Sing-Along with Mele Series on July 20. Sign up now at Kaunoa Senior Center.

In celebration of the 4th of July, join us for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong series: Patriotic  Songs on Thursday, July 20 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better.

This 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 uke 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 do people keep 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

Review Lahaina Library July Show

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders presented “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” on July 1 for the second time at Lahaina Library.

“We’ve seen your YouTube videos and our daughter pays the uke,” commented a man who came early to our July 1st program at Lahaina Public Library. “Our friend Madeleine, the librarian, told us about it,” answered a woman when asked how they heard about our program.

Nine people including a family with teenagers came to our second presentation of “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” at the Lahaina Public Library. We first gave the program on Wednesday, April 26 for an audience of 50-5th graders from a nearby public school who had requested a music program (read review). The librarian was so pleased with our program that she asked us to return this time on a Saturday to attract the general public. This time after the program, she mentioned possibly bringing us back in the fall.

The Hawaiian Serenaders are available to provide educational music programs to the public through the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program. In this program we displayed our personal collection of different types of ‘ukulele ranging from soprano, concert, and tenor instruments with 4, 6, and 8 strings. Plus we took my dad’s banjo ‘ukulele and played a song on it. We gave a history of the ‘ukulele, and performed Hawaiian, hapa haole, and pop songs to demonstrate the diversity of music that can be played on Hawai’i’s official instrument. Rich gave a special demo of his ‘ukulele bass and played instrumental solos on it. We also led a sing-along.

Here is our song list of 10 songs including 4 with Hawaiian lyrics

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (history-King Kalakaua patronage)
  2. Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum (uke began as rhythm accompaniment to singers)
  3. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (on banjo uke)
  4. Uwehi Ami & Slide – I Wanna Rest Strum (merging instrumental picking into local song)
  5. Lahainaluna – I Wanna Rest Strum (Kui Lee began contemporary sound of local music in 1960s)
  6. Lahaina – Latin Strum (pop example with sing-along on chorus)
  7. Ulupalakua – ‘Ōlapa Strum (Hawaiian place name song & story behind the song)
  8. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums: Thumb Strum Up/Chicken Pluck (3/4 time example)
  9. Blues in the Night – 4And Strum (change genre and change to uke with high A for picking riff)
  10. Fly Me To the Moon – Latin Strum (features u-bass solo and change genre)
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Some of the audience who stayed after program. The lady in pink next to Mele got up and danced hula to Ulupalakua.

Our next presentation of “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” will be Tuesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Kihei Public Library in south Maui. It’s free!

Visit our Hawaiian Serenaders webpage or photo galleries or visit our free online Fan Club to listen to over 100 songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Song of the Month for July

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Medley: Summertime/Moondance is July’s Song of the Month. Learn to play it with two unique ‘ukulele strums.

In celebration of the summer season, learn to play a Medley: Summertime/Moondance for July’s “Song of the Month.” This pop medley combines “Summertime” written by Dubose Howard and George Gershwin in 1934 and “Moondance” written by Van Morrison in 1969.  Both songs go together well in style and story.

LEARN HOW TO PLAY IT WITH 2 UNIQUE ‘UKULELE STRUMS. HERE’S HOW:

  1. Listen to our audio recording.
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons.

I will send you the PDF song sheets of my arrangement and teach you how to play it with I Wanna Rest Strum and 4 And Strum. The song is in the key of Em and uses 8 chords – perfect for intermediate ‘ukulele players.

  • No need to read music.
  • Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  • Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 100 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons via webcam or on Maui.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele