Twenty-one people signed up for my NEW Island Songs Sing-Along Series on Thursday, February 4 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults age 55 and better. We kicked off the series about Maui Nui (the county of Maui consists of the islands of Maui, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Molokini). I used PowerPoint to project up on the screen the lyrics and chords for 8 songs about Maui and Molokai so everyone could see (no handouts). The presentation of 54 slides took 1 hour and 20 minutes. When I introduced each song, I told the story behind it In keeping with Hawaiian oral traditions whether the song was Hawaiian or not. For songs in the Hawaiian language, I taught how to pronounce the lyrics and the translation. We all had fun singing while I played my ‘ukulele and my husband accompanied the group on his u-bass. A few ‘ukulele players brought their instruments to play along, too.
Here are the 8 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we learned:
- Maui – by Charles Hopkins, 1899.
- Puamana – by Maui born Irmgard Farden Aluli, 1937.
- Lahainaluna – by China born Kui Lee, 1966.
- Lahaina – by Jim Messina, 1973.
- Ulupalakua – by Maui born John Piilani Watkins, 1940s.
- Maui Waltz – By Maui born Bob Nelson.
- Molokai Nui Ahina – by Matthew Kane.
- Hawaii Aloha – by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, 1800s
It was a successful launch of my new series, especially after an auspicious beginning. At 8:00 in the morning on the day of the program the phone rang, and I found out that the location for my program had be moved last minute to a classroom. When it was all said and done, I actually liked the smaller venue as it was a more intimate setting because I was not speaking or singing over a microphone (although my ‘ukulele was plugged into our small PA). Afterwards, some participants asked for copies of the songs to which I directed them to listen to the 95 audio recordings on my online Fan Club.
Stay tuned for the next Island Sing-Along Series coming on March 31 about Big Island songs.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele