Work and Play at April Steel Guitar Fest

How exciting to see in the mail our names listed on the Ad Card for the 6th Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival April 11-13! It’s exciting to know that Kaanapali Beach Hotel sent out the Ad Card as part of its mass mailings to residents, which means many people saw it. This is the second year we are participating as invited by the chief organizer, Alan Akaka of Ke Kula Mele Hawaii School of Hawaiian Music on Oahu. Every year the festival gets bigger and better.

On Saturday, April 12, I will be giving two special one-hour ukulele workshops starting at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. New this year, we’ll be located outside under the Chapel Hut. Last year there were over 30 people who came, and there only 10 instruments available for their use by the hotel.

On Sunday, April 13, The Hawaiian Serenaders will entertain from 10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. during the hotel’s Sunday brunch. We’ll play a mix of hapa haole favorites for the anticipated mostly visitor crowd. Two steel guitar groups will perform before and after us on stage.

Our musical weekend actually starts on Friday, April 11, when we’ll attend a concert by the String Wind Quintet, followed by lunch at Kaunoa Senior Center. Similar to us, these artists are also sponsored by the University of Hawaii at Manoa Outreach College’s Statewide Cultural Extension Program. Then we’ll go to the Steel Guitar Festival to enjoy listening to local and international performers of Hawaiian steel guitar, before we go to work. Lucky we live Maui! What a great place to work and play!

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.