Review 10th Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Richard Tom and Mele Fong led 10 Maui Ukulele Pops Band members in performing at the 10th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition on November 11 at Queen Kaahumanu Center

My husband and I led the performance of 10 Maui Ukulele Pops Band members on stage this year at the 10th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Nov. 11, 2017 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului. Band members were: Andrea, Beverly, Claudia, Eileen, Ellen, Holly, Kathleen, Linda, Maricruz, and Sandy who sat in one row on stage. New this year, every person wore gold garland leis made years ago by Faith a former member. The leis added a sparkle to our Band formal attire of white or pink long muumuu for women and black pants with white aloha shirts for men. I am proud of my students as they sounded great as we played our unique repertoire of Hawaiian, hapa haole, and pop songs with different strums. Beverly danced hula to one song. “Everyone looked like they were having fun,” commented a spectator after our performance.

Here is the Maui Ukulele Pops Band’s 30-minute set with the name of the strum:

  1. Medley: Yes Sir/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  2. Dahil Sa Iyo (in Filipino) – Bossa Nova Strum
  3. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai (in Hawaiian) – Latin Strum, plus hula by Beverly
  4. Proud Mary – Tom Tom Strum
  5. Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells (in English and Hawaiian) – Hum Ding-Ah Strum, 2 keys
  6. Que Sera, Sera – 2 Waltz Strums: Chicken Pluck/Thumb Strum Up
  7. Sukiyaki (in Japanese) – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  8. Lahaina – Latin Strum
  9. Be My Baby – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum
  10. Medley: La Bamba/Twist and Shout (in English and Spanish) – Latin Strum
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Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio, comprised of Richard Tom, Mele Fong, and new member Leilani performed at the Exhibition

This year my husband and I added a new member to our Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio. We discovered Leilani when she came to our house on Sept. 29 to audio record two traditional Hawaiian songs for the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (we are both members) and afterwards we jammed to songs from our jazz repertoire. We were amazed at how good we sounded and wondered how much better we’d sound after practicing together. I originally formed the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio in 2012 to play difficult songs without having to teach them – the joy of playing music is my play time. We had fun!

Here is the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio’s 30-minute set with name of the strum:

  1. Uwehi Ami and Slide – fast jazzy strum with instrumentals to In the Mood
  2. Autumn Leaves – I Wanna Rest/Bossa Nova Strums
  3. L.O.V.E. – Boom Chick Strum.
  4. Somewhere in Hawaii – Latin Strum.
  5. More – Bossa Nova Strum.
  6. Could I Have This Dance – 2 Waltz Strums.
  7. Sway – Bossa Nova Strum.
  8. Kuu Home O Kahaluu – Latin Strum.
  9. Flying – Bossa Nova Strum.
  10. Fly Me To The Moon – Latin Strum.
www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele Mele on Maui’s first private student in November 2011, Susie from CA, came to the exhibition to say hello

All Maui Ukulele Pops Band members and the new third member of our Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio take my classes at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. This once a year opportunity to perform our music in public is a treat. Hinano (one of my former students), as president of the Maui Ukulele Guild (organization of builders), said this was his last year as coordinator of the event.

When we first arrived at 9:30 a.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, we were surprised to learn that Hinano was absent (turns out health reasons). Kathy Collins did a great job as MC and the show went on. Benny ran 15-minutes late with his Kalama Intermediate School group which pushed all the other groups back. After our last performance on stage ended at 3:20 p.m. we packed up our display table and called it a day.

Read about the program lineup of community and school groups who performed.

One of the benefits of participating in this annual event has been the opportunity to talk to new people at my Ukulele Mele On Maui display table and to talk to ukulele players who play with other groups that I only see once a year. I was excited when Susie, my very first student who took private lessons at the Bailey House in November 2011 was back in town (she lives in California) and stopped by to say hello and listen to us perform. We participated in seven of the 10 events through the years and don’t know what will happen next year. Stay tuned.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

 

Ukulele Strumming Workshop November 18

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele Strumming Workshop with Ukulele Mele is Saturday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Bailey House

‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop with Ukulele Mele is this coming Saturday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Wailuku. Get an introduction to the joy of making music the Ukulele Mele Way from an experienced educator and professional entertainer with a unique method of forming ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain and strumming styles taught by no one else on Maui. Play fun, sing-along songs while accompanied by a professional u-bass player.

Do you play C, F, and G7 chords confidently? Then you will have more fun at this workshop. We will go beyond the chalang-alang strum (even up and down strums) and give you a taste of other rhythm patterns. There is no need to read music as we play songs by ear without looking at music.

After the workshop you can discover ways to continue learning on Maui, online, by single song lesson downloads, and/or by packaged sets of book/DVD/CD for beginners, intermediate, and advanced ‘ukulele players.

Cost for the workshop is $10 or $5 for museum members at the door. Seats are limited so pre-registration is recommended.

REGISTER ONLINE or call/text me at 808-281-4981 Hawai’i Time. For more information, visit my website at www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com.

Come and experience firsthand how much fun it is to “Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way.”

Can’t make it to Maui? No problem. Choose how you want to learn from the comfort of your home:

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

3 Ukulele Shows in 3 Days in November

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The Hawaiian Serenaders will present Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert on November 28, 29, and 30 at 3 different libraries on Maui – all FREE to the public!

The Hawaiian Serenaders will present Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert on November 28, 29, and 30 at three different libraries on Maui – all free to the public. We are fortunate to be listed as artists with the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program which means public libraries can request us to present educational music programs free to the public. The programs are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Hawai’i’ State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the University of Hawai’i’ Statewide Cultural Extension Program. The first program we did through the University was on February 14, 2008 titled “Timeless Love Songs and Stories of Hawai’i Nei” at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. Since then we have developed different thematic programs throughout the years.

This year we developed a new program titled Story of the Ukulele and Concert. The short description is: “Learn about the history of the ‘ukulele and enjoy a concert by the husband-wife duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders. Observe a display of the different types of instruments and hear them played to a variety of musical genres.”

The long description is: “Learn about Hawaii’s official instrument, the ‘ukulele, and what is possible to play on it with practice. See a display of the 4 different sizes of instruments including the soprano, concert, tenor, and u-bass, with 4, 6, and 8 strings, and manufactured by Kamaka, Martin, and Mele Ukulele companies (old and modern). Hear a song played on the hybrid banjolele (banjo uke). Learn about the history of the instrument and hear songs of different genres played on it by the husband-wife duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders. Read more about the duo at https://ukulelemeleonmaui.com/performingartist/hawaiianserenaders.”

Come to our free ‘ukulele educational program and concert on these consecutive dates:

  1. November 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Kahului Public Library
  2. November 29 at 1 p.m. at Hana Public and School Library
  3. November 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Wailuku Public Library

Read about past shows we did this year:

  1. April 26 at Lahaina Public Library
  2. July 1 at Lahaina Public Library
  3. July 11 at Kihei Public Library

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition November 11

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele Mele On Maui will have a display booth and lead 2 ukulele groups to perform on stage at the 10th Annual Maui ‘Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 11 from 9:30-3:30 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului, Maui.

Visit our display booth and see us perform twice on stage at the 10th Annual Maui ‘Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 11 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului. This is our seventh year of participating in the annual event that showcases how the ‘ukulele is built from people who actually build them, and how the instrument is played by community and school groups on stage. We lead my students performing as the Maui Ukulele Pops Band at 1:20 pm. and then we return with a new master student performing as the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio at 2:40 p.m. Each group has a 30-minute set. Come and hear what makes our music sound different than all the rest with my husband Rich playing his u-bass.

Here is the line-up:

9:20 La’au Street Band – opening ceremony
10:00 Kamehameha Middle School ‘Ukulele Band
10:40 Pennies From Heaven
11:20 808 Uke Jams
‘Ukulele Giveaway #1
12:00 Kalama Intermedia School ‘Ukulele Band
12:40 South Maui Strummers
‘Ukulele Giveaway #2
1:20 Maui Ukulele Pops Band (my students from Kaunoa Senior Center led by us)
2:00 Hula Hui ‘O Kapunahala (halau from Oahu)
2:40 Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio (my husband and I and a new master student)

Come see us this Saturday. It is the one time of the year when you can see both of our ‘ukulele performing groups on stage for free. Can’t make it? See photos from previous years.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review American Classics Sing-Along Songs 2017

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Fourteen people signed up for the Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – American Classics program on November 2

“I’ve come to your Hawaiian programs and thought I’d give this a try”, commented a woman originally from Georgia.

Fourteen people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – American Classics on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. We sang all 12 songs that we had planned for the program including Hawai’i Aloha (in the Hawaiian language) that is traditionally sung to end a public event in Hawai’i.

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! This time we were in a regular classroom instead of the large multi-purpose room which meant I did not need a sound system to project my voice or to amplify my instrument. Thus, the vocal harmonies of all the singers in the room could be easily heard. The intimate setting worked great!

Here are the 12 songs with my unique ‘ukulele strums that we played:

  1. Medley: Beer Barrel Polka/Tavern in the Town – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Medley: Happy Days Are Here Again/Ain’t She Sweet – Tom Tom/I Wanna Rest Strums.
  3. Red Sails in the Sunset – Latin Strum.
  4. Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  5. Sloop John B – Latin Strum.
  6. Medley: Daisy Bell/Sidewalks of New York – 2 Waltz Strums.
  7. Yes Sir, That’s My Baby – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  8. Jamaica Farewell – Latin Strum.
  9. Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  10. Let Me Call You Sweetheart – 2 Waltz Strums.
  11. Swanee – Tom Tom Strum.
  12. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

HERE’S HOW TO 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.

  • From the Pop Songs Category – All songs but Sloop John B, Medley: Daisy Bell/Sidewalks of New York, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, and Swanee.

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.

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.

  1. Sing-Along Songs, Vol. 1 – Jamaica Farewell plus 5 other songs for beginning ‘ukulele players.
  2. Sing-Along Songs, Vol. 2 – Sloop John B, Medley: Daisy Bell/Sidewalks of New York plus 4 other songs for beginning ‘ukulele players.
  3. Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs, Vol. 2 – Hawai’i Aloha plus 5 other songs for intermediate ‘ukulele players.
  4. Hapa Haole Songs, Vol. 1 – Let Me Call You Sweetheart plus 5 other songs for advanced ‘ukulele players.

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Christmas Songs Hawaiian Style – as part of the annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 20.

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

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World By Ukulele Mele

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Ukulele Mele song arrangement uses a smooth Pick in 4 Strum and is sung in the key of C with 20 ukulele chords.

You are invited to sing and play along the Ukulele Mele arrangement of Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World for the Fan Club’s featured “Song of the Month” for November. Braddah Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole made this medley popular with his reggae beat to the music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg in 1938 (printed sheet music in The Hawaiian Sheet Music Collection by Alfred Publishing Co in 2008).

My arrangement is different as I hear the medley in a slow soothing style of Pick in 4 Strum and sing it in the key of C with 20 chords. It is a challenging arrangement for advanced ‘ukulele players who want to build their repertoire.

Listen to the audio recording.

Schedule private webcam lessons to learn to play the song from wherever you live.

Why learn the Ukulele Mele Way:

  1. You can learn to form ‘ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain while strumming rhythm patterns taught by no one else.
  2. Song sheets including chords and lyrics are emailed to you. There is no need to read musical notes.
  3. Audio recordings are provided for you to play along with professional musicians who sing and play ‘ukulele and u-bass (sometimes with drum machine accompaniment). There is no need for you to sing and play your instrument at the same time unless you want to.
  4. You can receive feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  5. You gain an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience learning to play Hawai’i’s official instrument, the ‘ukulele, from a Native Hawaiian who teaches the old Hawaiian way.

Visit my online Fan Club to 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. Select the Fan Club’s Song of the Month or another song to learn during your lesson.

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

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Ukulele Workshop October 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele Strumming Workshop started the sixth season on October 21 at the Bailey House

“Now I feel confident I can do it!” commented a new student after my workshop.

Five out of eight people who pre-registered for my ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop showed up on October 21, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Wailuku. Two of the participants live in California and had attended workshops and private lessons in the past. We started the sixth season of workshops with a change in length from 2-hours to 1-hour and kept the fee unchanged at $10 or $5 for museum members. This brings the total to 520 participants since the first workshop began on July 14, 2012.

We had fun playing the following songs without looking at music:

  1. Are You Sleeping? – 1-chord with all down strums
  2. Happy Birthday – 3 chords with up and down Chalang-Alang strum.
  3. Lion Sleeps Tonight – 3-chords with Chalang-Alang strum.
  4. She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain – 3-chords with Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  5. Sloop John B – 3-chords with Latin Strum
  6. The More We Get Together – 2-chords with basic Waltz Strum

Plus, I demonstrated other strums to the same song and how applying the different rhythms affect the mood of what you want to express. In other words, there is more than one way to play a song and you are in the driver’s seat to convey the feeling by the way you play the strum.

After the workshop, I found out that two of the local residents were age eligible for Kaunoa Senior Center and so I told them how to sign up for the monthly newsletter with over 12-pages of activities to choose from. My next beginner ‘ukulele classes at Kaunoa will start in January 2018. Click here to visit my Kaunoa webpage of classes offered for adults 55 and better.

Register now for the next Ukulele Strumming Workshop on Saturday, November 18 at 10 a.m. at the Bailey House in Wailuku.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Ukulele Strumming Workshop October 21

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele Strumming Workshop with Ukulele Mele is this Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Bailey House in Wailuku, Maui

My monthly ‘Ukulele Strumming Workshop starts the sixth season this coming Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House in Wailuku. Get an introduction to the joy of making music the Ukulele Mele Way from an experienced educator and professional entertainer with a unique method of forming ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain and strumming styles taught by no one else on Maui. Play fun, sing-along songs while accompanied by a professional ukulele bass player.

Do you play C, F, and G7 chords confidently? Then you will have more fun at this workshop. We will go beyond the chalang-alang strum (even up and down strums) and give you a taste of other rhythm patterns. There is no need to read music as we play songs by ear without looking at music.

After the workshop you can discover ways to continue learning on Maui, online, by single song lesson downloads, and/or by packaged sets of book/DVD/CD for beginners, intermediate, and advanced ukulele players. Visit my website at www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com for information.

Cost for the workshop is $10 or $5 for museum members at the door. Seats are limited so pre-registration is recommended. Register online by clicking here or call me at 808-281-4981 Hawaii Time.

Come and experience how much fun it is to “Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way.”

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Serenader Show and Ukulele Lesson at Grand Wailea

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders entertained at the Grand Wailea on October 12 for a corporate incentive event

“Thank you for your music” and “You are a good teacher” were some of the comments received after our 2-hour gig including a group ukulele lesson from 5 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 12 at the Grand Wailea.

The Hawaiian Serenaders, comprised of my husband Rich on u-bass and myself on ‘ukulele and vocals, entertained 125 people attending their corporate incentive event opening reception. Originally planned to be outside on the Chapel Lawn, the event was moved last minute to the paved covered area outside the ballrooms because of the threat of rain. We were so thankful for this change in venue. We setup our Bose PA system and debut matching headsets which eliminated the need for mics, mic chords, and mic stands.

We were hired because the client found our webpage and forwarded a request to the event planner who then contacted us. They liked our flexibility of providing entertainment and group ukulele lessons if requested. We rented instruments from Mele Ukulele Store in the nearby Shops at Wailea for the group lesson. Since the client did not want to do a pre-signup for lessons, we had no idea how many people would be interested. We were happy when 10 people suddenly appeared and wanted a lesson. In fact, we stayed 30-minutes past our contract time to provide the ukulele lesson. No problem.

Here is the mix of music we performed during the entertainment portion of the program:

  1. Kupa Landing
  2. Hanalei Moon
  3. Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells
  4. Hula o Makee
  5. Lahainaluna
  6. On The Beach at Waikiki
  7. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai
  8. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia
  9. Under the Boardwalk/Palm Tree
  10. Papalina Lahilahi
  11. Lahaina
  12. Lovely Hula Hands
  13. Ulupalakua
  14. Fly Me To The Moon
  15. Girl From Ipanema
  16. Puamana
  17. In A Little Hula Heaven

Many of my arrangements for the songs we performed can be found in my free online Fan Club. 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:

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Serenader Hula Show for Women Helping Women

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Hawaiian Serenaders had 6 hula dancers for our show at the Women Helping Women event on October 14

“Do you have a CD? ” and “Your voice is so good” were some of the comments received after our 1-hour show with 6 hula dancers from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 14 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului.

The Hawaiian Serenaders, comprised of my husband Rich on u-bass and myself on ‘ukulele and vocals, entertained people attending the Women Helping Women-Domestic Violence Prevention event. We were there because one of my ukulele students who dances hula asked us to play music so her hula sisters from Na Kupuna of Kaunoa could participate in the event. It’s for a good cause, so we agreed. We offered our house for one rehearsal together on Monday, October 9 which was the first time we met most of the dancers. The ladies take hula classes from kumu Lucky Cabral at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better (where I also teach ukulele classes and more). After the program, we were treated to lunch with the ladies which was good fun, too.

At the Center we met the new sound person, Kealoha, a young woman who told us she proposed to management the purchase of a new digital sound system – hurray! It is expected to arrive next year. The acoustics around center stage bounces all over the open space so a new sound system with better directed speakers will be a welcome change.

Here is the mix of music we performed (same set we did for Thursday gig at the Grand Wailea):

  1. Kupa Landing
  2. Hanalei Moon – with hula
  3. Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells
  4. Hula o Makee – with hula
  5. Lahainaluna
  6. On The Beach at Waikiki
  7. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – with hula
  8. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia
  9. Under the Boardwalk/Palm Tree
  10. Papalina Lahilahi – with hula
  11. Lahaina
  12. Lovely Hula Hands
  13. Ulupalakua – with hula
  14. Fly Me To The Moon
  15. Girl From Ipanema
  16. Puamana – with hula

Many of my arrangements for the songs we performed can be found in my free online Fan Club. 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:

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele