Review of November 6 Band Show

Uke Band members

Maui Ukulele Pops Band Show November 6

“You folks sound so professional!” commented a woman who heard the Maui Ukulele Pops Band perform on Thursday, November 6.

It was a stifling hot day with no wind as we waited for our turn to entertain the guests attending the Liberty Dialysis Clinic grand opening in Kahului. We were first to entertain after the speeches which started late and ran long. Instead of being done at noon, it was 1:30 p.m. when we left.

Eight Band members along with Rich and I participated, which is great considering we had only a week’s notice of this opportunity to perform in public. I was pleased to see one member smiling and happy to be there although her Dad had died recently at age 101. It was also great that one of our two members who dance hula, chose to dance to three songs during our show. Our 30-minute set of 10 songs of Hawaiian and local favorites went quickly. Since the outdoor venue was small enough (setup for about 50 people), the audience could hear Band members playing ukulele and singing although they were not plugged into the PA system like Rich and I. Some people in the know stayed inside the air conditioned building eating their plates of food while we entertained everyone else who were sitting outside.

Photo: Front row left to right Kathleen F., Beverly R., Claudia W., and Linda E. Back row (standing) Santiago M., Cindee B., Eileen T., and Holly H.

After our show, Doctor Jay Lakkis, Medical Director Maui Home Therapy, asked permission to post the photos he took of us on Facebook. “Yes” was the enthusiastic group answer! We all had fun performing and were glad that our audience appreciated us, too.

Mele with 2013 Na Hoku Winner

Mele with Kamaka Fernandez, 2013 Na Hoku Winner

After we left the stage, we were invited to get plates of food and sit at the tables outside. Kamakakehau Fernandez, the 2013 Na Hoku Hanohano Music Award winner (Hawaii’s Grammy’s) entertained by playing his ukulele and singing. He lives on Oahu and flew over for the event at the request of his mother who lives on Maui. I offered to show him some pointers to make it easier for him to form ukulele chord shapes and play for hours without pain – it’s all in the technique! We’ll see what happens.

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.