Ukulele Strumming 202 for 2020

Kaunoa classesThe ‘Ukulele Strumming 202 class is scheduled to continue into 2020 on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 9 – 11 a.m. at Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville, Maui. We will continue to play a variety of Hawaiian, hapa haole, and pop songs arranged with my unique ‘ukulele strumming styles. Students can listen to the audio recordings on my website and play along with the songs outside of class.

Here is the schedule for a total of 18 classes through the year:
January 15 (no class on January 1 holiday)
February 19 (no class on February 5 as Mele’s unavailable)
March 4 (no class March 18 during Kaunoa recess)
April 1 and 15
May 6 and 20
June 3 and 17
July 15 (no class July 1 during Kaunoa recess)
August 5 and 19
September 2 and 16
October 21 (no class October 7 during Kaunoa recess)
November 4 and 18
December 2

The 8th Annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party will be December 16 from 9 a.m. – 12 noon. The program includes a sing-along of Christmas songs.

Check the website calendar for updates.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Grandparents Day Concert

The Hawaiian Serenaders

Grandparents Day 2019

The Hawaiian Serenaders, the husband and wife duo of Richard Tom and Mele Fong presented a concert for Grandparents Day on Sunday, September 8 from 10 – 11 a.m. at the Sun Deck of Kula Hospital. The Serenaders sang and played ‘ukulele and u-bass to a mix of Hawaiian, pop and jazz songs including a few hula songs as requested from a nurse who danced hula during the program. There were about 40 patients and their families who attended out concert.

“Hallelujah,” exclaimed a patient as we approached the sun deck with all of our equipment to setup for the concert. There were about 10 people already waiting when we arrived 50-minutes before show time. A nurse told us another patient was going to stay in her room until she heard we were coming and said, “Let’s go.”

We played a mix of songs from our recent Pop & Jazz Concert including:

  1. Kupa Landing – Hum Ding-Ah Variation Strum.
  2. Medley: Yes Sir That’s My Baby/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  3. Moon River – 2 Waltz Strums.
  4. Dixieland Jazz. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  5. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Proud Mary – Tom Tom Strum.
  6. Could I Have This Dance – 2 Waltz Strums.
  7. Quando, Quando, Quando – Tony Renis & Alberto Testa, 1962.
  8. Ulupalakua – Olapa Strum with hula by Nurse Joan.
  9. Mahina O Hoku – I Wanna Rest Strum with hula by Nurse Joan.
  10. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Only You – Buck Ram, 1955.
  11. Last Song: When You’re Smiling – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
  12. Hana Hou: Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Rock ‘n’ Roll Sing-Along 2019

Sing-Along Rock ‘n’ Roll

“Thank you for a great session today.  It was so nice to see all the happy faces, singing and tapping of the feet, and even dancing!!” commented Kaunoa’s Leisure Program Director Cecilia Suzuki.

Thirty-seven people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang 11 songs from the early rock ‘n’ roll era. We had the largest turnout ever!

New this time we were in a smaller room than the usual multi-purpose room and thus the singing voices sounded loud. We also had a new crowd mostly in wheelchairs from Hale Makua residential care facilities who really sang their hearts out.

We continued the “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room for singers and ‘ukulele players to see. We also continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang 11 songs during the 70-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:

  1. Rock Around The Clock – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Under the Palm Tree – Latin Strum.
  3. In The Still Of The Night – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
  4. Peggy Sue – Tom Tom Strum.
  5. All I Have To Do Is Dream – Morse Code Strums.
  6. Proud Mary – Tom Tom Strum.
  7. Silhouette – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  8. Blue Suede Shoes – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  9. My Girl – Latin Strum.
  10. Be My Baby – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum.
  11. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – International Songs is Thursday, October 25.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Sing Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs in September

Rock and Roll Songs is the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

Rock and Roll Songs is the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We will sing popular songs from the 50s and 60s as we rock around the clock and learn the stories behind the songs.

My sing-along 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 ‘ukulele 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 whether you consider yourself a singer or not.

Why are people returning? “It’s fun!” is what participants have told me.

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.

**********************************************************

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Pop & Jazz Ukulele Concert

The Hawaiian Serenaders, the husband and wife duo of Richard Tom and Mele Fong showcased the versatility of Hawai’i’s official instrument in presenting a Pop & Jazz ‘Ukulele concert on Thursday, August 22 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui.

The Hawaiian Serenaders, the husband and wife duo of Richard Tom and Mele Fong showcased the versatility of Hawai’i’s official instrument in presenting a Pop & Jazz ‘Ukulele concert on Thursday, August 22 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Kaunoa Senior Center on Maui. The Serenaders sang and played ‘ukulele and u-bass to a mix of songs from the swing era of the 30s-40s, Broadway, 60s rock ‘n’ roll, country, and jazz, including 3 songs on the banjo-uke popular in the 1920s.

“It was awesome! I was amazed at some of those chord changes you had in several songs! I really liked the banjo ‘ukulele. I thought your brief explanations of the different ‘ukulele were helpful to the audience.” — Written comments from Lee Ann Shigezawa.

There was a full house of sixty-eight people who signed up for the concert including a bus load from Hana (2 ½ hours away) celebrating Aunty Louisa Pu’s 83rd birthday with family and friends on this side of the island. Toward the end of the concert we acknowledged Aunty Louisa and led everyone in singing Happy Birthday in English and Hawaiian. Twenty-four songs were performed with the concert lasting 1 ½ hours.

The repertoire by song title, names of composers and year:

  1. There’s No Business Like Show Business – Irving Berlin, 1946.
  2. Medley: Give My Regards to Broadway/I Got Rhythm – George Cohan, 1904 & George Gershwin, 1930.
  3. I Could Have Danced All Night – Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Lowe, 1956.
  4. As Time Goes By – Herman Hupfeld, 1931.
  5. Banjo Uke. Bill Bailey – Hughie Cannon, 1902.
  6. Flying – Patrick Downs, 1970s.
  7. Fly Me To the Moon – Bart Howard, 1954.
  8. Twilight Time – Buck Ram, Morty Nevins, Al Nevins, & Artie Dunn, 1944.
  9. Blues In The Night – Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen, 1941.
  10. Moon River – Johnny Mercer & Henry Mancini, 1961.
  11. Night and Day – Cole Porter, 1932.
  12. All Of Me – Gerald Marks & Seymour Simons, 1931.
  13. Haleakalā – recorded by Dennis Pavao, 2004.
  14. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Proud Mary – John Fogerty, 1968.
  15. Autumn Leaves – Johnny Mercer & Joseph Kosma, 1945.
  16. Quando, Quando, Quando – Tony Renis & Alberto Testa, 1962.
  17. The Nearness Of You – Ned Washington & Hoagy Carmichael, 1937.
  18. Banjo Uke. Medley: Yes Sir That’s My Baby/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Gus Kahn & Walter Donaldson, 1925; Joe Young, Sam Lewis & Ray Henderson, 1925, Benny Davis & Harry Akst, 1926.
  19. Could I Have This Dance – Wayland Holyfield & Bob House, 1980.
  20. Girl From Ipanema – Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1962.
  21. Only You – Buck Ram, 1955.
  22. Banjo Uke. When You’re Smiling – Larry Shay, Mark Fisher,& Joe Goodwin, 1928.
  23. Happy Birthday in English and Hawaiian.
  24. Hawai’i Aloha – Rev. Lorenzo Lyons & James McGranahan, 1800s.

The concert was a great way to celebrate my 10th anniversary of teaching music classes at Kaunoa Senior Center. What started out as a 6-month experiment in January 2009, has continued to grow into wonderful experiences as I contribute to the pursuit of adult lifelong learning. We are fortunate to be co-sponsored by the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Statewide Cultural Extension Program to be able to share our educational programs in our community.

Enjoy the video of Bill Bailey at https://youtu.be/9gjdkEUfKsU

Enjoy the video of Proud Mary at https://youtu.be/XlIkLNBvfR8

Enjoy the video of All of Me at https://youtu.be/IiK83g50r48

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Island Sing-Along Songs 2019

A woman got up and danced hula to “Hanalei Moon” during our monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong class on Island Songs on August 15 to celebrate Hawaii’s Statehood Day.

‘Ukulele students who came early to class got to play along with my husband and me as we practiced songs from memory to perform later that afternoon at a Kamehameha Alumni event where 100 people were expected to attend. In the old Hawaiian way, one person jumped up and danced hula as we sang “Hanalei Moon.” What a treat!

Twenty-three people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Island Songs on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang 11 songs to celebrate Statehood Day aka Admissions Day when Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state on August 21, 1959.

Read more about Statehood Day >>

We continued the “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room for singers and ‘ukulele players to see. We also continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang 11 songs during the 70-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:

  1. Hawaii Ponoi – Waltz Variation Strum.
  2. King Kamehameha – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  3. What Aloha Means – 2 Waltz Strums.
  4. Oahu – On the Beach at Waikiki – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  5. Blue Hawaii – I Wanna Rest Strum/4And Strum.
  6. Kauai – Hele On To Kauai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  7. Kauai – Hanalei Moon – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  8. Maui Waltz – 2 Waltz Strums.
  9. Big Island – Grass Shack – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  10. There’s No Place Like Hawaii – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  11. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs is Thursday, September 5.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

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

Sing Island Songs in August

Songs of the Hawaiian Islands are the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on August 15, 2019 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better.

Songs of the Hawaiian Islands are the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We will celebrate Statehood aka Admissions Day when Hawaii became the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959. We will sing a mix of Hawaiian and hapa haole songs.

My sing-along 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 ‘ukulele 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 whether you consider yourself a singer or not.

Why are people returning? “It’s fun!” is what participants have told me.

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.

**********************************************************

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Pop and Jazz Ukulele Concert August 22

The Hawaiian Serenaders

The Hawaiian Serenaders – husband and wife duo of Richard Tom and Mele Fong present a Pop and Jazz Ukulele Concert on Thursday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

The Hawaiian Serenaders – the husband and wife  duo of Richard Tom and Mele Fong present a Pop and Jazz ‘Ukulele Concert  on Thursday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. The Serenaders sing and play ‘ukulele and u-bass to to mix of songs from the swing era of the 30s-40s, Broadway, 60s rock and roll, country, and jazz, including songs on the banjo-uke popular in the 1920s. Lunch is optional following the concert.

The Serenaders 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 and have played music professionally together since 1993.

Sign up by calling Kaunoa Senior Center at 808-270-7308.

Visit The Hawaiian Serenaders webpage to hear song samples, view photos, and read reviews.

Keep up-to-date – receive Mele’s monthly e-newsletter UKE News You Can Use. SIGN-UP TODAY!

 

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Review Patriotic Sing-Along Songs

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Patriotic Songs was the theme for the monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series in July.

“I thought Aloha ‘Oe was the song to sing to end a program,” commented a person who grew up in Hawai’i and lives on the mainland part-time. She was surprised that the traditional song is Hawai’i Aloha.

Sixteen people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Patriotic Songs on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang 10 songs (including a medley of 2 songs) to celebrate America’s birthday on the 4th of July.

We continued the “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room for singers and ‘ukulele players to see. We also continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang 10 songs during the 60-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:

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

The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Island Songs is Thursday, August 15.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele