Review Lahaina Library July Show

The Hawaiian Serenaders presented “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” on July 1 for the second time at Lahaina Library.

“We’ve seen your YouTube videos and our daughter pays the uke,” commented a man who came early to our July 1st program at Lahaina Public Library. “Our friend Madeleine, the librarian, told us about it,” answered a woman when asked how they heard about our program.

Nine people including a family with teenagers came to our second presentation of “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” at the Lahaina Public Library. We first gave the program on Wednesday, April 26 for an audience of 50-5th graders from a nearby public school who had requested a music program (read review). The librarian was so pleased with our program that she asked us to return this time on a Saturday to attract the general public. This time after the program, she mentioned possibly bringing us back in the fall.

The Hawaiian Serenaders are available to provide educational music programs to the public through the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program. In this program we displayed our personal collection of different types of ‘ukulele ranging from soprano, concert, and tenor instruments with 4, 6, and 8 strings. Plus we took my dad’s banjo ‘ukulele and played a song on it. We gave a history of the ‘ukulele, and performed Hawaiian, hapa haole, and pop songs to demonstrate the diversity of music that can be played on Hawai’i’s official instrument. Rich gave a special demo of his ‘ukulele bass and played instrumental solos on it. We also led a sing-along.

Here is our song list of 10 songs including 4 with Hawaiian lyrics

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (history-King Kalakaua patronage)
  2. Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum (uke began as rhythm accompaniment to singers)
  3. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (on banjo uke)
  4. Uwehi Ami & Slide – I Wanna Rest Strum (merging instrumental picking into local song)
  5. Lahainaluna – I Wanna Rest Strum (Kui Lee began contemporary sound of local music in 1960s)
  6. Lahaina – Latin Strum (pop example with sing-along on chorus)
  7. Ulupalakua – ‘Ōlapa Strum (Hawaiian place name song & story behind the song)
  8. Medley: Maui Waltz/Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums: Thumb Strum Up/Chicken Pluck (3/4 time example)
  9. Blues in the Night – 4And Strum (change genre and change to uke with high A for picking riff)
  10. Fly Me To the Moon – Latin Strum (features u-bass solo and change genre)

Some of the audience who stayed after program. The lady in pink next to Mele got up and danced hula to Ulupalakua.

Our next presentation of “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” will be Tuesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Kihei Public Library in south Maui. It’s free!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele


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.