Review January 28 Mixed Plate

students at Ukulele Mixed Plate

High School Hawaiian Ensemble

Six high school students and their teacher performed during the youth showcase part of Ukulele Mixed Plate on January 28th from 6-6:30 p.m. The Hawaiian ensemble from Seabury Hall School in upcountry Maui sang traditional Hawaiian songs while playing ukulele, guitar, lap steel, and bass. They brought their own mixer to plug into the existing PA system, plus monitors. However, their sound came out distorted when more than one person sang at a time. Although I told their teacher about the sound problems from the audience perspective, it was too bad he couldn’t fix it.

We had arrived even earlier than before, at 4:30 p.m. for a 6:00 p.m. program start, and that gave more time for setup and to talk to people in the audience who came early. We also got a chance to see the new poster that The Shops put up about the event. I was pleased that some people who had attended previous Ukulele Mixed Plate events had returned and brought their friends. It seems like we’re starting to get a following in Wailea.

New this time, we¬†changed the order after the youth showcase to The Hawaiian Serenaders performance first, and then we ended with teaching ukulele lessons. That format worked better. Janet Rineer, an Advanced Ukulele student from Kaunoa Senior Center class and member of the Maui Ukulele Pops Band, danced hula as we performed “Henehene Kou Aka”. We first played the song during class that morning, and discovered that she knew how to dance it. Wonderful!

We also moved the display/merchandise table from the stage to the ground level to the right of the stage. This location made it easier for me to talk to people right after the event as Rich was packing up our musical equipment at 8:00 p.m. Some people expressed excitement when I announced to the audience that they can learn ukulele online from home or via packaged song sets of book/DVD/CD.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

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Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the 'ukulele. She is an experienced educator with over 50+ years experience playing the 'ukulele and entertaining worldwide. Mele performs with her husband in the duo "The Hawaiian Serenaders" and leads student groups. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawai'i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom were both born and raised on Oahu and now reside in Maui.