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May 2012 Events


HIGHLIGHTS: Scroll down to read reviews by the date of the event

Spring: (May 2012)
May 1. May Day Program at Kahului Union Church, Kahului.
May 9. Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Band Masters Series at Iao Theater, Wailuku.
May 12. Maui Matsuri at UH Maui College, Kahului.
May 18. Backyard Kanikapila at Kaunoa Senior Center, Spreckelsville.
May 20. Ohana Kanikapila Day at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
May 26. Experience Kaunoa at Maui Mall, Kahului.

REVIEWS

May 1. May Day Program at Kahului Union Church, Kahului.

"You folks should cut a CD. You play all the old songs we like to hear; and you pronounce the Hawaiian words so clearly.” – a comment from one of the 200 seniors in the audience participating on Tuesday in Kaunoa Senior Center’s island-wide nutrition program.

Both the MC and Mele opened the Maui Ukulele Pops Band program with a little history behind May Day. In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day and was invented in 1927 by an island artist and newspaper writer Don Blanding and Grace Tower Warren. It’s a day to honor Native Hawaiian traditions and culture. In that spirit, we took the audience on a musical journey throughout the islands for 45-minutes. We sang island songs of the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, including a hula by two Band members. Two women in the audience spontaneously danced hula as we sang “Hanalei Moon” and “Hula o Makee.” We sang “Happy Birthday” to a Band member, and wowed everyone with our Band jingle that was written by a member. Ten Band members – Kelcy, Linda, Gail, Mel, Faith, Andrea, Sandy, Janet, Eileen, and Ellen plus Rich and Mele participated and enjoyed Hawaiian plate lunches together afterwards.

May 9. Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Band Masters Series at Iao Theater, Wailuku.

It had been a long time since The Hawaiian Serenaders performed in a venue where the lights were shining on us and we couldn't see the 200+ people sitting in the dark. We usually play during day venues outside or inside with lots of light. On Wednesday night we were amazed by the audience reaction with their cheers, clapping in rhythm, and contagious enthusiasm to our music. "Oh, you must get that all the time," commented the stage manager as we exited the stage. In publicity materials for the 1st Annual Masters Series, we were billed as masters of musical diversity and multiple strumming styles. We opened the evening with 4 songs: Kupa Landing (traditional Hawaiian), Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World (picking style), Blues in the Night (blues), and Uwehi Ami and Slide (contemporary Hawaiian rock and roll). Before the show and during intermission, we had a display table on the mezzanine level where Eileen and Holly (two of Mele's students) gave out Ukulele Mele On Maui brochures and sold packaged song booklets. It was a wonderful evening of music by the masters and the Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Band. View the event poster and program info.

May 12. Maui Matsuri at UH Maui College, Kahului.

"You sounded good. We want you to come back next year, okay?" Commented Kay, one of the two festival organizers, and Mele's contact.

It was a warm windy Saturday afternoon when the Maui Ukulele Pops Band performed for the first time at the 12th Annual Maui Matsuri, A Japanese Festival. Last year there were 10,000 attendees, and this year there seemed to be just as many people or more. In keeping with the Japanese theme, we performed 3 Japanese songs that are popular in Hawaii: Sukiyaki, Koko Ni Sachiari, and Beautiful Sunday. Seven Band members-Andrea, Beverly, Eileen, Faith, Janet, and Kelcy directed by Mele and accompanied by Rich on bass performed during our 15-minute time slot. Since it was such a quick performance, we all stood while playing rather than taking more time to setup and take down chairs in addition to our music stands. Afterwards, one member commented, "I was just starting to have fun when it was all over." We want to leave our audience asking for more - and that worked! View the poster, watch a television commercial, and look at the map of the festival.

May 18. Backyard Kanikapila at Kaunoa Senior Center, Paia.

"Friday night my husband and I attended Kimo Hussey’s annual ‘Ukulele Kanikapila at Kaunoa Senior Center. Last year was fun, but this year we were pleasantly surprised to see our ‘ukulele teacher, Mele Fong and her husband, Rich Tom, up on stage with Kimo’s trio. Having Mele up there was a bonus to most of us in the audience because she knew exactly what we needed to know to really participate. And we did!! Can’t wait until next year!" - Holly H.

The Hawaiian Serenaders took up Kimo Hussey's invitation to "please come and play a few songs with us" at the Backyard Kanikapila program at Kaunoa Senior Center. Rich and Mele ended up playing music for the entire 2 hour show without intermission. What fun we had taking turns leading the audience in playing songs without music. Just call out the key, chord progressions, and Mele played ukulele where people could see her left hand chord shapes. What a joy to hear the audience singing and playing their ukulele. Kimo said kanikapila (playing music) is Hawaii's gift to the world, and we agree!

May 20. Ohana Kanikapila Day at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.

"May I have your autograph?" On Sunday, after Mele gave a mini workshop on ukulele strumming techniques and performed a few Hawaiian songs, a German visitor asked Mele to sign a brochure he was taking home for his son and daughter, along with a song booklet/DVD/CD that he purchased. He was the first to ask for an autograph - what a thrill! Rich captured the moment on camera.

After Mele's teaching workshop, we stayed and played music for the remaining four hours with other musicians. It was a treat to meet a trio on guitar, ukulele, and bass who entertain at local parties. Since there can only be one bass player at a time, Rich played ukulele all afternoon with the rest of us. We played oldies and other genres besides Hawaiian and hapa haole. There were just as many players and spectators who came out. A Bailey House Museum volunteer commented that the cloudy overcast day may have deterred more people from coming out to the outdoor venue. However, all of us attending the Ohana (family) Kanikapila (playing music) Day had fun!

May 26. Experience Kaunoa at Maui Mall, Kahului.

We stayed all day Saturday playing music and talking to people who stopped by our tables at the first event held outside of Kaunoa to showcase activities offered inside Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. outdoors at Maui Mall, the day started with a splash when the waterfountain erupted in the middle of the audience tent. It took at least 20 minutes for someone to contact the person to shut off the timer for the fountain. Luckily, the World War II veterans who were sitting in the area had just moved to the stage to be honored when the fountain erupted.

The Maui Ukulele Pops Band performed a 20-minute set while standing on stage. Nine Band members including Andrea, Beverly, Eileen, Faith, Gail, Janet, Kathleen, Linda, and Mel accompanied by Rich on bass and Mele played a variety of Hawaiian, Filipino, country, hispanic, and original songs. Our set included Koni Au, Dahil Saiyo, Hey Good Lookin', La Bamba/Twist and Show, and our Band Jingle. What fun we had!


 

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