My husband and I led the performance of eight Maui Ukulele Pops Band members on stage this year at the 11th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului. No other group played our variety of popular songs (Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Hispanic, rock and roll, hapa haole) with different ukulele strums. We played the same set as last year which meant no stress as the songs were familiar (we only had one rehearsal before show time). We also wore the same gold garland leis as last year which added a sparkle to our Band formal white or pink attire. After our performance it was rewarding to see people waiting to talk to me to express their appreciation for our music. “Tourists like hearing songs they are familiar with,” commented MC Kathy Collins.
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.
Here is the Maui Ukulele Pops Band’s 30-minute set with the name of the strum:
- Medley: Yes Sir/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
- Dahil Sa Iyo – Bossa Nova Strum
- Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strum, plus hula by Beverly
- Proud Mary – Tom Tom Strum
- Medley: Tiny Bubbles/Pearly Shells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum, 2 keys
- Que Sera, Sera – 2 Waltz Strums: Chicken Pluck/Thumb Strum Up
- Sukiyaki – Hum Ding-Ah Strum
- Lahaina – Latin Strum
- Be My Baby – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum
- Medley: La Bamba/Twist and Shout – Latin Strum
New this year, I decided not to have a Ukulele Mele On Maui display booth and the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio did not perform a set. This meant we showed up in time to perform just one show from 1:20 -1:50 p.m. and left afterwards instead of staying for the entire event from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to talk to people and perform again. No other ukulele teacher performs twice. This year was also the first time Queen Ka’ahumanu Center coordinated the event with Maui Ukulele Guild and marketed the event in the newspaper.
We are committed to performing again as the Maui Ukulele Pops Band next year in the same time slot on the second Saturday of November.
You can hear my husband and I perform as our professional duo, The Hawaiian Serenaders, at our Hawaiian style Christmas concert coming up Thursday, December 20 in Wailuku. It’s free and our gift of music to the community.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele