Review Ukulele Show in South Maui

The Hawaiian Serenaders presented Story of the Ukulele and Concert on September 18 at Kihei Library on Maui.

THE HAWAIIAN SERENADERS presented Story of the ‘Ukulele and Concert at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 at Kihei Public Library in south Maui. This was our second performance at Kihei Library in two consecutive years as sponsored by the University of Hawai’i Statewide Cultural Extension Program. There were thirty-two people who attended. We like performing at Kihei Library with the air conditioning, easy parking, and regular programming on Tuesday nights. “Everyone gave you thumbs up,” commented the librarian after the show.

The Hawaiian Serenaders is the stage name for our husband-wife duo as we entertain on ukulele, ukulele-bass, and vocals. We customized our concert to meet the educational requirement of our sponsor by talking about the ukulele and playing different musical genres. We gave the history of the ukulele, displayed our collection of soprano, concert, and tenor instruments with 4, 6, and 8 strings, and demonstrated the different sounds while strumming a “C” chord on a high “G” versus low “G” string tuned instrument. My husband gave a special demo on his ukulele-bass and played instrumental solos on it. We also played a few songs on my dad’s banjo-uke, a hybrid of the ukulele and banjo that first became popular in the 1920s.

New this time we used our own wireless headsets and wireless instrument inputs so we were free to move around without being attached to cables to the amplifier which made it easier to be heard when I moved to the instrument display table. I was also pleased to answer questions about the evolution of Hawaiian music and the history of hapa haole music. One couple visiting from the mainland came to the show because of friends who told them about it when they met the week before at an outdoor fair – it’s fun to have groupies.

Here is our song list of 11 songs and why they were chosen:

  1. Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (history-King Kalakaua patronage; Hawaiian example)
  2. Sophisticated Hula – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum (hapa haole example)
  3. When the Saints Go Marching In – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (banjo uke example)
  4. Lahaina – Latin Strum (about Maui and pop example with sing-along on chorus)
  5. Moon River – 2 Waltz Strums (movie example)
  6. Hey Good Lookin’ – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (country music example)
  7. Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strum (Hawaiian example)
  8. Be My Baby – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum (60s example)
  9. Autumn Leaves – I Wanna Rest/Bossa Nova Strums (jazz example)
  10. When You’re Smiling – Hum Ding-Ah Strum (banjo uke example)
  11. What Aloha Means – 2 Waltz Strums (return to roots with hapa haole example)

Visit our Hawaiian Serenaders webpage.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele