New Venture-Ukulele Mixed Plate

Wailea luxury retail center

The Shops at Wailea and Fountain Courtyard

Another new venture begins for Ukulele Mele with a ukulele store and luxury shopping center on Maui! “Ukulele Mixed Plate” consisting of a youth showcase, ukulele lessons, and entertainment begins on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at The Shops of Wailea. We are coordinating this event on the first, second, and fourth Wednesdays of the month through January, with the possibility of continuing. How exciting!

Mele Ukulele and Ukulele Mele

Cheryl Rock of Mele Ukulele new store in Wailea

The idea was born when Cheryl Rock, co-owner of Mele Ukulele (retail and online store selling mainly its brand of ukulele) called on Monday, December 8, 2014. Cheryl had just opened a new store the previous month in The Shops at Wailea, and the general manager had asked if she could coordinate free ukulele activities in the fountain courtyard. In the past, we performed as The Hawaiian Serenaders with hula dancers from Keoni Manuel’s hula halau during WOW nights, the phrase coined as Wailea on Wednesdays. Bob Dye, the new general manager of The Shops since 2009, said things had changed. Now The Shops presents top headliners on the third Wednesdays of the month, and thus, was looking for free activities on the first, second, and fourth Wednesdays to draw in the crowds.

Bob Dye

Bob Dye, GM of The Shops at Wailea

On Thursday, December 11, 2014, Rich and I met with Cheryl at Bob Dye’s office at The Shops at Wailea. I came up with the phrase “Hawaiian Masters Series” to describe the third Wednesday event of the month. I also came up withe the event title “Ukulele Mixed Plate” for the other Wednesdays that I’ll be coordinating with Cheryl’s support. The idea is three fold: provide a venue for talented youth to perform in public, offer free ukulele lessons (limited number of instruments provided by Mele Ukulele), and show what is possible on the ukulele played by professionals (The Hawaiian Serenaders). The Shops will be publicity and I’ll provide a link for pre-registration through my website.

I want Ukulele Mele to be known for ukulele education and entertainment. Although my teaching focus is adults rather than children, I know three school teachers who have ukulele programs plus I’m finding out about other young talented ukulele players to showcase in our community. This new venture has the potential to reap great rewards and return on investment of my time and talent. Onward!

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele