Ukulele Mele On Maui
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Fall 2013 Events

HIGHLIGHTS: Scroll down to read reviews by the date of the event

Fall: (October - December 2013)
October 11. Kaunoa Senior Center Ho'olaulea at Spreckelsville.
October 12. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
November 9. Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului.
November 15. The Hawaiian Serenaders Concert at West Maui Senior Center, Lahaina.
November 16. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
December 14. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.

REVIEWS

October 11. Kaunoa Senior Center Ho'olaulea at Spreckelsville.

On Friday, October 11, Mele's Advanced Ukulele class performed for hundreds of seniors at the Hawaiian themed event. Twelve students participated: Andrea, Bev L, Bev R, Eileen, Ellen, Hinano, Holly, Kathleen, Linda, Maricruz, Sandy, and Tom. Most students have continued lessons with Mele since the beginning of January 2009, and have performed as the Maui Ukulele Pops Band. For some students, it was their first time on stage with Mele and Rich. We played six songs in our allotted 15-minutes time slot: Koni Au (Hum Ding-Ah Strum), Hanalei Moon (I Wanna Rest Strum), Ulupalakua ('Olapa Strum), I'll Remember You (Latin Strum), In the Mood (instrumental rhythm and picking), and Sophisticated Hula (Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum). In typical Hawaiian style, several women came up from the audience to dance hula to songs they knew.

In addition, The Hawaiian Serenaders performed for 15-minutes as requested by the MC Kathy Collins to fill-in an empty time-slot on the program. As we told Kathy, "you can always count on us when you're in a pinch." We continued our new thing of performing songs by memory so we were freed up to look at the audience (because we weren't looking down at the music) and photos came out better (not blocked by the music stands). What fun!

Before we performed, Cathy and Roy Sakuma came up to say hello and take photos with Mele. They were in town from Oahu to MC the annual Maui Ukulele Festival at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Sunday, October 13. How nice to be acknowledged by well-known ukulele teachers!

October 12. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

Fourteen ukulele players including several new people showed up for the Saturday workshop. Considering that Roy Sakuma (from Oahu) was giving a free workshop during the same time at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, we were pleased with the turnout. One new player called the day before and asked if he could come even though he didn't have his instrument. Mele provided an ukulele for him to use and he did great while his bride took videos of the workshop. Another new couple booked a private small group lesson for the following week, hurrah! Rich was dubbed "Ray Charles" as he wore Mele's sunglasses while playing u-bass because of recent cataract surgery. What fun we all had!

November 9. Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului.

"Raindrops kept falling our heads," but that did not stop the Maui Ukulele Pops Band from performing our 30-minute show of popular songs in Hawaii. Some in the audience just got up from their chairs and moved under more covering as the Band played on. My worry was we'd get electrocuted from the rainstorm since we were plugged into a sound system. However, the sound guy for the shopping center didn't pull the plug. Thank goodness we put our music sheets inside plastic sheet covers which protected them from the sudden rain drops.

Eventually the rain stopped, a halau from Oahu performed, and then the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio performed our 30-minute show. It's always fun to see the reaction from the audience when we play our blues, jazz, and other popular songs that people aren't used to hearing being played on ukulele. Afterwards, a guy came up to Rich asking about where to get a u-bass, which seems to be growing in popularity.

November 15. The Hawaiian Serenaders Concert at West Maui Senior Center, Lahaina.

The bus was late picking up half the audience coming from central Maui, and thus we waited and started our show late. Twenty-six seniors (ages 55 and better) signed up for the show including lunch that was co-sponsored by the University of Hawaii Statewide Cultural Extension Program. The Hawaiian Serenaders have been listed as artists with the program since 2008 (our first show was at Kapolei Public Library on March 1). The small crowd and intimate setting was a perfect venue to perform our "Nostalgic Hawaiian Songs" including hapa haole favorites you don't hear on the radio anymore. Many sang along and two women spontaneously got up to dance hula to Ulupalakua and Wahine Ilikea. It was such a heartwarming experience to bring smiles to the faces of our audience, and to hear their appreciation, especially from some of my ukulele students who attended and were amazed by our performance.

November 16. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

Twenty ukulele players came to November's workshop, including many from Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. The numbers of participants were up as the "snow birds" have started to arrive and are finding out about the workshop online. It was great to see Susie from California who was my first private student in 2011, and returns to Maui every year.  Susie met a lady at the workshop who lives in a nearby town, and wrote "Ginny's 'pineapple jam' group performs at our community a few times a year and are also hired to perform at private parties." What a small world!

Glenda had participated in the recent Homer, Alaska Ukulele Players Event, and is spending 6 months on Maui. A high school alumnus who graduated one year before me came to the workshop and immediately recognized me when she walked into the room. How fun it was to lead the workshop and to stretch everyone by playing "Mele Kalikimaka", an 8-chord song. Christmas music is not that easy to play, especially by ear, but we try!

December 14. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

Ten ukulele players came to December's workshop, including people from Victoria and Calgary, Canada. There were so many activities going on around town this time of year, we were lucky to get as many people as we did. We played some Christmas songs in addition to our mix of musical genres by ear. It was a nice way to end a year of workshops at the Bailey House.



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