Review Maui Ukulele Guild 2019

Maui Ukulele Guild

2019 Band Show

We pulled it off – no one could tell that I had been sick for a week with bronchitis and severe asthma with my singing voice just coming back that day. When my husband and I practiced music the day before, we made adjustments to the music such as changing songs to a lower key. Canceling our two shows was not an option as there were too many people dependent on me to make it on Saturday – the shows must go on!

New this year, we performed twice rather than once on stage at the 12th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Queen Kaahumanu Center. Entertainment coordinator Hinano Kaumeheiwa asked us (The Hawaiian Serenaders) to fill in for Kalama Intermediate School group who couldn’t make it. There was a one group break in between, and then we were on stage again leading the Maui Ukulele Pops Band for our regular scheduled set.

The Maui Ukulele Pops Band is comprised of students from my Advanced Ukulele class at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Most students have been with me since I started teaching at Kaunoa in January 2009. This year’s Band members who performed were: Andrea, Beverly, Charles, Eileen, Janet, Linda, Maricruz, and Sandy who sat in one row on stage.

“Thank you so much for your music.” “You folks always sound good playing a variety of songs.”You are always respectful of the time and other performers (not going over your time slot).

I enjoyed seeing the audience swaying in waltz time to “Moon River,” smiling to our version of “Proud Mary,” and dancing to “Rock Around the Clock.”

My husband and I kept it spiffy and simple attire wise by wearing our formal Hawaiian white with red silk leis for The Hawaiian Serenader set, and then just changing lei to gold garland for the Band set. No other ukulele group looks or sounds as professional as we do as we play a variety of ukulele strumming styles to different genres of music.

The Hawaiian Serenaders 30-minute set from 12 – 12:30 p.m. included:

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Night and Day – Bossa Nova Strum.
  3. Autumn Leaves – I Wanna Rest/Boss Nova Strums.
  4. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum with banjo ukulele and u-bass solo.
  5. Waikiki – Swing Strum with hula by Beverly.
  6. Quando, Quando, Quando – Bossa Nova Strum.
  7. All of Me – Hum Ding-Ah Strum with u-bass solo.
  8. Arrivederci Roma – Bossa Nova Strum.
  9. There’s No Place Like Hawaii – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  10. Beautiful Sunday – Tom Tom Strum.
Maui Ukulele Guild

2019 Helping Out

The Maui Ukulele Pops Band 30-minute set from 1:20 – 1:50 p.m. included:

  1. Medley: Yes Sir/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum with banjo ukulele.
  2. Lahaina – Latin Strum.
  3. Aloha Kauai – I Wanna Rest Strum with hula by Janet.
  4. Sunny – Bossa Nova Strum.
  5. Moon River – 2 Waltz Strums.
  6. Proud Mary – Tom Tom Strum.
  7. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strum with hula by Beverly.
  8. Maile Lei for Your Hair – Bossa Nova Strum.
  9. Rock Around the Clock – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.

Another first this year was when the leader of the group performing after the Band asked Rich to stay on stage and help out playing his u-bass. “Sure, do you want to use our chairs? Our music stand?” Beverly Romias, a band member, also went back on stage to dance hula to help out. The group from Oahu with youth hula dancers did their set and then quickly left for the airport to return to Oahu where the leader was receiving an award at the 150th anniversary event of the YMCA.

Next year the 13th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition is scheduled for Saturday, November 14, 2020. This will be the first year that Queen Kaahumanu Center will also be coordinating the entertainment lineup instead of the Maui Ukulele Guild.

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.

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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

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.

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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

Sing Patriotic Songs in July

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Ukulele players and/or singers can sing patriotic songs as part of the Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on July 25.

Patriotic songs are the theme for this month’s Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, July 25, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We will celebrate the 4th of July by singing songs honoring our country. These songs include America the Beautiful and more.

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.

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.

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Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Ukulele Strumming Songs for July

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The new song list for the July-September quarter has been announced for my ‘Ukulele Strumming 202 class that meets at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better in Maui.

The new song list for the July-September quarter has been announced for my ‘Ukulele Strumming 202 class that meets at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better in Maui. We will be playing a mix of ten old and new songs for the quarter of July – September with five classes scheduled on the first and third Wednesdays of the month starting July 17.

Some students are also in my Advanced ‘Ukulele class who have been with me since class began in January 2009. They have had many years to learn my unique method of forming ‘ukulele chords with minimal muscle strain and strumming rhythm patterns taught by no one else.

Students receive the song sheets by email to print and bring to class or refer to on their digital device (small tablets). Outside of class, students can play along to the audio recordings for each of the songs on my website. We enjoy playing our ‘ukulele and singing Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and jazz songs together. Anyone can listen to the audio recordings at my online Fan Club page.

Here is the song list with the name of strum, key, and number of chords:

  1. Blue Suede Shoes – Hum Ding-Ah – C-3 chords
  2. Days of My Youth – Latin – C-9 chords
  3. Henehene Kou Aka – I Wanna Rest – F-8 chords
  4. In The Still Of The Night – I Wanna Rest/4And Strum – F-7 chords
  5. Kuu Home o Kahaluu – Latin – D-7 chords
  6. Medley: Kilakika O Haleakalā/No Ka Pueo – C and F – 8 chords
  7. Medley: La Bamba/Twist & Shout – Latin – C-3 chords
  8. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums – D and F – 11 chords
  9. On The Beach at Waikiki – Hum Ding-Ah – C and F – 7 chords
  10. Peggy Sue – Tom Tom – C-3 chords
  11. Proud Mary – Tom Tom – C-6 chords
  12. Rock Around the Clock – Hum Ding-Ah – C-3 chords

For information about our ukulele performing groups:

  1. Maui Ukulele Pops Band – students from Advanced ‘Ukulele class
  2. Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio – master student with my husband and I
  3. The Hawaiian Serenaders – professional duo of my husband and I

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele