Ukulele Mele On Maui
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Winter 2013 Events

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

Winter: (January - March 2013)
January 12. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
February 9. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
March 9. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
March 16. Queen's Festival at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului.
March 30. Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School, Makawao.

REVIEWS

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

Fifteen ukulele players came to Mele's first workshop of the New Year. There were many new faces in addition to the regulars who started with Mele at the first workshop in 2012. New for this workshop was the lapel microphone that Mele used to sing and teach, which replaced the microphone stand and chorded microphone that often blocked Mele's face in pictures. Rich showed off his mult-colored strings on his u-bass, and Mele showed off new purple strings on a new thin body travelers ukulele received at Christmas. One of the regular ukulele players said she tried to get into Mele's class at Kaunoa Senior Center, but the class was full just hours after it opened to new students on the first day. The word is getting out about how much fun students can have learning to play better ukulele with Mele!

February 9. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

Eleven ukulele players came to Mele's second workshop of the year. There were a few new faces in addition to the regulars, and some people who just poked their heads into the room to watch and listen as were having fun playing music by ear. Mele forgot to bring the chord diagrams to put up on the velcro board, and so it was like the experience of the first workshop without visual aids. "I liked it" said some of the participants. This time we played more songs from the 60s and camp days from long ago. Sing and play alongs are fun!

March 9. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

Fourteen ukulele players came to Mele's third workshop of the year. Our location was moved to inside the museum's art gallery instead of our normal space inside the old dining room building. It felt homey, like being inside someone's living room as we all fit comfortably on chairs and couches. One new player came from Germany. She heard about the workshop from a German friend who subscribes to monthly online lessons while in Germany, and then takes private lessons and classes when on Maui. It was heart warming when this new player came up afterwards and expressed her appreciation for being inspired to play ukulele.

March 16. Queen's Festival at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului.

Several people in the audience were singing along to The Hawaiian Serenaders Nostalgic Songs of Hawaii 45-minute show. It's not often that people hear "To You Sweetheart Aloha" and "Beyond the Reef" and other songs from Hawaii's boat days era. Beverly Romias added to the show by dancing four hulas. Beverly and Mele are sisters in the Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, a royal society of Native Hawaiian women honoring Hawaii's Queen Ka'ahumanu. Saturday's festival was part of the annual celebration of the Queen's birthday at the shopping center that was named for her. This was the first show that we performed thirteen traditional Hawaiian and hapa haole songs from memory without using music. Afterwards, one audience member commented on how he liked our facial expressions as we got into it (which is easier to do when you're not looking down at the music). Many of Mele's private and classroom students were in attendance.

"You sounded great! I enjoyed hearing the "older" songs. Thanks for the entertainment." - Linda and Robert Martin

The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio performed a 45-minute show of thirteen jazz and pop standards. A school group performed in between our two groups, so we had time to change our attire and get into a different mindset. Hinano was fighting a cold, so we dropped his vocal solo song and made adjustments. After our two shows, a lady that works at the Center's Information Booth came up to Rich saying how much she enjoyed both our shows. One of Mele's students commented how she liked Mele's lower register when Mele was singing the blues. We always like to push the envelope and show what is possible on the ukulele. (See photos)

"Roberta and I enjoyed hearing the Maui Jazz Trio. Nice selection of song, good voices and harmony, and awesome playing." - John Vogel

March 30. Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School, Makawao.

Mele gave a workshop and The Hawaiian Serenaders performed on stage at this second annual players event. It was a cool day in upcountry Maui, and fortunately it didn't start to rain until the very end. Mele's students Clement, Charles, Alma, Lynn, and Holly came to the workshop in addition to some newcomers. One newcomer was a 9-year-old girl from Thailand who was visiting her Dad for the summer and going to school to learn english. Different than last year's format, this year Mele led ukulele players in a mini version of the monthly workshops held at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku where we progress from two-chord to four-chord popular songs while applying different strumming styles. There were many smiles and laughter as we played ukulele together.

The Hawaiian Serenaders performed for 30-minutes on stage without music. Mele's former boss at Haleakala National Park was one of many in the audience. It was Don Reeser's job offer to Mele to be the Assistant Superintendent that brought us home to Maui in December 2000.



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