Thursday, March 26. Eleven people came to my Prince Kuhio Day program on the state holiday at the Bailey House Museum. Nine were new people, and two were returning ukulele students (one visitor, one resident). This was part of my Oral History & Sing-Along Series. When we arrived at the museum, we were surprised when a man who was sitting outside the museum came up to say he had seen us the night before performing in Wailea, and they came to see us today. Craig and his wife Donna from Oregon were our first self-proclaimed “groupies.”
New this time, we hooked up our new 10″ tablet with our new foot pedal so I could advance the PowerPoint slides without taking my strumming hand off my ukulele during the sing-along portion of the program. Everything worked great. At the museum, we hooked up to the large TV to use it as a monitor.
After the 20-minute academic presentation on Prince Kuhio and why Hawaii has a state holiday honoring him, I opened it up for questions. Then we proceeded to sing four songs that were composed during his lifetime of 1871-1922. I told the stories behind the songs, taught how to pronounce the Hawaiian words, and led everyone in singing while playing ukulele to the following:
- Ua Like No A Like
- On the Beach at Waikiki
- Kaimana Hila
There were good singers in our midst who sang beautiful harmonies. We took a stretch break, and then returned and sang three more songs composed by Queen Lili’uokalani in the late 1800s. We did:
- Aloha ‘Oe
- Queen’s Prayer
- Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani
We ended the 2-hour program by learning to sing Hawaii Aloha, the traditional song written by a missionary in the 1800s that we continue to sing today to signal the end of a public gathering.
After the program, a couple of our local friends, plus our new “groupies” from Oregon went out to lunch. What a great time of talking story and getting to know each other better.
On Friday, March 27, what a shock to open our local newspaper “The Maui News” and to see my face on the front page! A woman had identified herself as being from The Maui News, and I saw her taking pictures, but I never had a chance to talk to her about my program. Sarah did a wonderful, comprehensive job writing a two-page article.
Next up in my Oral History & Sing-Along Series will be “Na Lani Eha – The Four Royals” on May 1 at Kaunoa Senior Center.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele