Review Ukulele Mele Christmas Party 2019

“I liked the history highlights of the year,” commented Barbara. “I liked the stories about the songs,” commented Marilyn.

We limited sign ups to thirty-eight people for my Annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party on Wednesday, 18 December 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. For the second year in-a-row we had a waiting list within a few days after signups were open and we had to limit the number of people to fit comfortably in the configuration of room 101-102. Unfortunately, some people were absent due to illness while the rest of us had fun.

What a shock when Marilyn and Doug from Alaska walked into the room as the last time we saw them was in 2013 when my husband and I flew to Alaska to present the “Homer Ukulele Players Event” over Labor Day weekend.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS – CLICK ON A PHOTO for the story behind it.

Actual program:
9:00 – 9:15 Arrive and socialize.
9:15 – 9:40 Highlights of 2019 (including a sneak peak at 2020) PowerPoint presentation.
9:45 – 11:00 Sing-Along of Christmas songs PowerPoint presentation.
11:00 – 12:00 Class photos, buffet lunch, and socialize.

Lunch menu: roast pork with gravy, mochiko chicken, beef broccoli, salad, dry mein, rice, haupia cake with “Mele Kalikimaka” written on it, hot tea and coffee, and bottled water.

We sang 12 Christmas classics and Hawaiian style songs (repeating each song twice) during the “Sing-Along with Mele Fong” series 1-hour and 15-minute program. We cut five songs from the previous year per feedback that the sing-along was too long. During the “Hawaiian History Moment of the Month” we talked about the first Christmas in Hawai’i and the history of the greeting “Mele Kalikimaka.” Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:

  1. Jingle Bells/Kani Na Pele – Waltz Strum: Thumb Strum Up/Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  2. Silver Bells – 2 Waltz Strums.
  3. Feliz Navidad – Latin Strum.
  4. White Christmas – I Wanna Rest/Latin Strums – with hula by Beverly.
  5. Mele Kalikimaka Ia Oe – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  6. Silent Night/Po La’i E – Pick in 6 Strum – with hula by Beverly.
  7. Hawaiian Santa – I Wanna Rest/4 And Strums.
  8. Holly Jolly Christmas – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  9. The Christmas Song – Pick in 4 Strum.
  10. Mele Kalikimaka – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  11. We Wish You a Merry Christmas – 2 Waltz Strums.
  12. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

Next year we are moving the Annual Christmas Party from the third Wednesday to the second Wednesday of the month which falls on 9 December 2020 at Kaunoa Senior Center.  The change of date gives us a week instead of one day between the party and presenting the Annual Hawaiian Christmas Concert for the monthly Picnic For Poki Hawaiian Music Series which has happened the previous two years.

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.