Review Kamehameha Alumni Event August

The Hawaiian Serenaders played Hawaiian music by memory for a one-hour gig at a Kamehameha Schools Alumni event on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at Dani’s Hall in Wailuku.

The Hawaiian Serenaders played Hawaiian music by memory for a one-hour gig at a Kamehameha Schools Alumni event on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. at Dani’s Hall in Wailuku. Over 100 people attended. As a Kamehameha alumnus, it was fun to play music for the Kamehameha ohana (family) and to see many of my Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (royal society of Native Hawaiian women) sisters in attendance. It was also fun to remember the words and music to Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we used to play while strolling the Grand Wailea’s Humu Restaurant so many years ago. Many of my ‘ukulele students at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better tell me they can play and sing, but not at the same time (which is what we do).

After our set, we listened to a trio of young men perform traditional Hawaiian music with tight harmonies while playing guitar, ‘ukulele, and electric stick bass. Josh, the leader, said they met 3 years ago while enrolled at UH Maui College’s Institute for Hawaiian Music. I was a mentor at the Institute many years ago when Grammy Award winner George Kaahumoku, Jr started the program and so I was pleased to see these students become successful musicians. I told Josh, “It’s time for the next generation to do the circuit -performing at hotels on the west and south side of the island. We’ve been there and done that.”

The songs we played alternated between Hawaiian and hapa haole genres:

  1. Kupa Landing
  2. To You Sweetheart Aloha
  3. Wahine Ilikea
  4. I’ll Remember You
  5. Ulupalakua
  6. Hanalei Moon
  7. Island Medley
  8. Lahainaluna
  9. O Ka Leo
  10. My Little Grass Shack
  11. E Huli Makou
  12. Sophisticated Hula
  13. Puamana
  14. Koni Au

The Hawaiian Serenaders – husband and wife duo of Richard Tom and Mele Fong – sing and play ‘ukulele and u-bass to a variety of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and jazz tunes. They are artists with the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Statewide Cultural Extension Program, and have represented the state of Hawai’i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Rich and Mele are both Hawai’i born and raised.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele