Review Nov. 29 Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert

The Hawaiian Serenaders presented “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” at Hana Public and School Library on Nov. 29. There were 129 people including 80 1st to 5th graders who attended.

“Thank you again for such a wonderful performance, the children were still talking about it today.” –´Irene, branch librarian via Facebook.

The Hawaiian Serenaders, comprised of my husband Rich on u-bass and myself on ‘ukulele and vocals, presented “Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert” at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29 at Hana Public and School Library. We were so pleased to have 129 people including 80 1st to 5th graders attend our program. We specifically added 4 Christmas songs the children would know so we could do a sing-along. The best moment was after our program when a teacher played my ‘ukulele and the children sang a song for us – it brought tears to our eyes – the sound of children’s voices were so moving.

Here is the song list including 4 Christmas sing-along songs to engage the children:

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (history-King Kalakaua patronage)
  2. Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum (started as rhythm accompaniment to singers & hula dancers)*
  3. Jingle Bells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (sing-along In English and Hawaiian)
  4. Uwehi Ami & Slide – I Wanna Rest Strum (merging instrumental picking into local song)
  5. Bill Bailey – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (Dixieland jazz & banjo uke example)
  6. Silent Night – Pick in 6 Strum (sing-along in English and Hawaiian in 6/8 time example)
  7. Lahaina – Latin Strum (pop with audience sing-along example)
  8. Ulupalakua – Olapa Strum (Hawaiian place name song with English translation)*
  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (sing-along)
  10. Medley: Yes Sir/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (1920s banjo uke example)
  11. Mele Kalikimaka – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (Hawaii’s way to say Merry Christmas)
  12. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum (traditional ending to events in Hawaii)

The Hawaiian Serenaders are artists available through the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program.

The educational program was funded in part by the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The Hawaiian Serenaders are artists available through the UH program. There is no cost to the audience and we got paid – a win win for everyone. Note: This gig was part of our 3 ‘ukulele shows in 3 Days in November – just the way the scheduling worked out (Read more).

About the trip: The long and windy road to Hana was made more challenging this trip because of the rainy conditions. The waterfalls were gushing and in many spots the rain water was running down the sides of the roads. We arrived safely at the library after a 2-hour drive (we left home at 9 a.m.). The librarian was so happy to see us as “it’s hard to get entertainers down here.” Luckily the rain stopped long enough for us to unload our equipment into the library. It was 5 p.m. by the time we arrived home – making a long, but worthwhile day.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele