Review Queen’s Fest in March

Hawaiian show with hula

The Hawaiian Serenaders show with hula dancer

“Thank you for honoring the Queen,” commented the president of the ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, after The Hawaiian Serenaders performance on Saturday, March 14 at Queen Kaahumanu Center. We were pleased to be one of two groups who performed at the Queen’s Festival honoring the person whom the center is named after. Two years ago when the center held the last festival, we performed twice as The Hawaiian Serenaders and as the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio. This year, we kept to our Hawaiian roots in keeping with the meaning for the celebration honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu for her birthday.

As a member of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, a royal society of native Hawaiian women honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu, and past historian of our Maui chapter, I planned our show set with stories reflecting our cultural history. I also explained to the audience the significance of the color pink for our attire, as pink is Maui’s island color. We played 17 songs during our 1-hour set including compositions by Na Lani Eha (the Royal Four siblings of Kalākaua, Lili’uokalani, Likelike, and Leleiohōku), island songs reflecting a virtual tour of the state, and then we completed the circle with a traditional Hawaiian song in tribute to our departed chiefs. We were also blessed to have a hula dancer do four dances, one song for each of the four main Hawaiian Islands. Beverly Romias is one of my Advanced Ukulele students who performs in the Maui Ukulele Pops Band, and is also one of my Ahahui Ka’ahumanu sisters. Beverly commented how my stories about the Hawaiian songs puts the songs in perspective and is much appreciated, and makes our show different than any others.

Our traditional Hawaiian song set:
1. Koni Au – by King Kalākaua
2. Kuuipo I Ka Hee Pue One – by Princess Likelike
3. Sanoe – by Lili’uokalani
4. Hawaiian War Chant – by Prince Leleiohōku
5. Boat Days – Hawaii Calls
6. Big Island – Kupa Landing
7. Big Island hula – My Little Grass Shack
8. Oahu – O Ka Leo
9. Oahu hula – Waikiki
10. Maui –  Medley Maui Boy/Maui Girl
11. Maui – Maui Waltz
12. Maui hula – Ulupalakua with translation
13. Molokai – Wahine Ilikea
14. Kauai – Aloha Kauai
15. Kauai hula – Hanalei Moon
16. Island Medley
17. Tribute to departed chiefs – Na Ali’i

Afterwards, a local guy came up to ask the name of the last song because he recognized it, but never learned the name. One lady was overheard saying how much she liked my voice. Even the woman at the center’s information desk located near the stage, commented how much she liked our music. “Tell Todd Vines” (the center’s marketing manager), I replied. He was the person who hired us.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele