Upcountry Fair Review

Serenade at Upcountry Fair

Serenading at Upcountry Fair

“Welcome to our easy on the ears music of Hawaiian, pop, and jazz.” The Hawaiian Serenaders welcomed the audience to the Upcountry Fair on Saturday, June 12 at Oskie Rice Park in Olinda. Getting into the country theme of the annual Upcountry Fair is fun to do! We performed from 1-2pm, and then six members of the Maui Ukulele Pops Band joined us on stage for another set. Thus, we were on stage from 1-3pm sharing our mix of music. We encouraged the audience to sing-along to songs they recognized, and were pleased when they did.

We had arrived 45-minutes before The Hawaiian Serenaders set and heard a loud reggae band with drums and amplified instruments blaring with the volume turned up so loud that after we checked-in with the sound guy, we promptly left the entertainment tent instead of hanging around. We couldn’t think. We stayed as far away as we could before it was our show time. Our 45-minute set was:

  1. Kupa Landing
  2. Sweet Someone
  3. Fly Me to the Moon
  4. Wahine Ilikea
  5. Could I Have This Dance?
  6. Under the Palm Tree
  7. Blues in the Night
  8. Uwehi Ami and Slide
  9. Hawaiian War Chant
  10. Lahaina
  11. Hana hou: Nanakuli
Ukulele Band at Upcountry Fair

Maui Ukulele Pops Band perform at Upcountry Fair

After a short break to setup, the Maui Ukulele Pops Band joined us on stage. Members were Andrea, Eileen, Holly, Kathleen, Kelcy, and Santiago. Kelcy got up to dance two hulas during our show. The eight of us fit nicely in one row sitting in chairs across the width of the stage, and looked spiffy in our matching pink and grey polo shirts with “Ukulele Pops Band” embroidered logo. Band members are students in my Advanced Ukulele class at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better, with some students having been with me since I started teaching there in January 2009. We have a lot of fun. At one point, the wooden stage was shaking so much from many feet stomping to keep the beat that my microphone on the stand kept moving from the vibrations. See the set list and a photo from last year’s show.

The next public performance of the Maui Ukulele Pops Band will be November 14 at the annual Ukulele Guild event at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio will also perform. These two large community events are something we to look forward to performing at each year.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele


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.