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Winter 2012 Events

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

Winter: (January - March 2012)
February 3. St. Joseph's Church fundraiser luau at Hale Nanea, Kahului.
February 4. Keiki Karnival at Christ the King Church, Kahului.
February 11. Na Hoaloha Luncheon at Maui Tropical Plantation, Waikapu.
March 17. Queen's Festival at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului.
March 24. Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School, Makawao.

REVIEWS

February 3. St. Joseph's Church fundraiser luau atHale Nanea, Kahului.

In response to a request by one of Mele's ukulele students, The Hawaiian Serenaders performed at a fundraiser luau on Friday night to benefit St. Joseph's Church located in Kaupo. The dinner was held at Hale Nanea, a facility operated by the Royal Order of Kamehameha in Kahului. Before our set, Rich spontaneously went on stage to accompany Hawaiian legend Richard Ho'opii on bass. The Hawaiian Serenaders performed our entire set without music, playing a variety of nostalgic Hawaiian and hapa haole favorites by memory. The audience loved it!

February 4. Keiki Karnival at Christ the King Church, Kahului.

“Do you play for parties?” asked a member of the audience after the Maui Ukulele Pops Band opened the Saturday event at 11:00 a.m. Eleven student members - Linda, Kathleen, Gail, Mel, Faith, Andrea, Sandy, Janet, Beverly, Eileen, and Ellen directed by Mele and accompanied by Rich performed a 45-minute set of local and pop favorites.
After another group, the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio performed at 1:00 p.m. with a 45-minute set. We played 18 songs including “The Girl From Ipanema” and other Big Band era songs.

February 11. Na Hoaloha Luncheon at Maui Tropical Plantation, Waikapu.

The Hawaiian Serenaders performed at the Na Hoaloha Neighbors Helping Neighbors Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on Saturday. The nonprofit organization "provides compassionate care to seniors while making a positive difference in the quality of their lives," said Executive Director, Gerri S. We played for 20-minutes as the luncheon started just before 11:00 a.m.

March 17. Queen's Festival at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, Kahului.

“I’m so intimidated,” said Duane Leib, a student taking private ukulele lessons from Mele, after watching The Hawaiian Serenaders perform on Saturday. We played at 12:00 noon with a 45-minute set. Rich switched from u-bass to ukulele and sang “Puamana” and “Honolulu I’ll Be Coming Back Again” as Mele danced hula to both songs.

After a hula halau, the Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio performed at 2:00 p.m. - 2:45pm. “You looked like you were having fun and were more comfortable than at your first show last year,” said Holly Huelsmann, a student taking ukulele classes from Mele.
Mele was invited to perform by the event organizer who happened to be the President of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, a royal society of Native Hawaiian women of which Mele is a member. The weekend honored the person whom the organization is named after, Queen Elisabeth Ka’ahumanu, for her birthday. Mele is historian for the Maui chapter, and gave two historical talks and provided the music at the chapter’s public program on Friday night at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. (event flyer)

March 24. Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School, Makawao.

Despite the cold windy weather with the threat of rain, around 300-400 people showed up for the first annual free family fun ukulele players event on Saturday. Mele kept busy teaching a half-hour talk story session as an educator, teaching a song to the audience, and performing with all three groups on the main stage.

The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio and The Hawaiian Serenaders split a time slot, first playing six jazz songs and then four Hawaiian songs. Many cell phones pointed our way when we played “Uwehi Ami and Slide,” and we saw people singing to “Beyond the Reef.” We happened to be on stage when a representative from the Mayor’s office read the proclamation about March 24 being “Ukulele Day in Maui Nei.” After more speeches, Mele returned to the stage as one of the educators, and taught the audience “La Bamba/Twist and Shout” to a Latin strum. Then eight student members - Kelcy, Linda, Gail, Mel, Andrea, Sandy, Janet, and Eileen of the Maui Ukulele Pops Band directed by Mele and accompanied by Rich stood and played seven popular songs in Hawaii. We ended with the first public performance of our signature Band song which Andrea wrote the words to and Mele arranged. It was a great day for adults and children to play ukulele!

Check out the Ukulele Explosion website, read the article on Maui Now, and listen to the radio announcement that Mele gave on KONI 14.7 FM to advertise the event.


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