Ukulele Mele On Maui
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Spring 2014 Events

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

Spring: (April - June 2014)

April 12. Two Workshops at Maui Steel Guitar Festival at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kaanapali.
April 13. Sunday brunch concert at Kaanapali Beach Hotel for Maui Steel Guitar Festival.
April 19. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
May 1. Upcountry Wedding at a field, Kula.
May 10. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku.
May 17. Sam's Upcountry Jam aka Ukulele Explosion at Kalama School, Makawao.
June 8. Upcountry Fair at Oskie Rice Park, Olinda.

REVIEWS

April 12. Two Workshops at Maui Steel Guitar Festival at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kaanapali.

About 30 people came Saturday to each of my one-hour morning and afternoon workshops held during the 6th Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at the hotel. Some people had so much fun that they even came to the second workshop in the afternoon. It was a good thing that we took four of our own ukulele for people to use, as the hotel only had 15 to loan out to hotel guests, and many people needed an instrument. It was a little windy holding the workshops outside under the "Chapel Hut." At times, gusts of wind would blow over the velcro board with chord shapes displayed that we had mounted on an easel. The festival photographer took photos, and a person took video while we played. I saw many smiles as I taught different ukulele strums as we sang and played popular songs. What fun we had! One person commented how it was the first time someone showed her how to hold the instrument, and what a difference it made. Another person said that he goes to a lot of workshops, and I really know how to teach. The workshops grew in popularity since last year, which was the first year we were involved with the Steel Guitar Festival under Alan Akaka's leadership. The festival gets better every year, and we're so lucky to be part of it.

April 13. Sunday brunch concert at Kaanapali Beach Hotel for Maui Steel Guitar Festival.

The Hawaiian Serenaders were the change up act between two steel guitar groups at the 6th Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at the hotel. This was our second year of performing on stage during the event. We were graced by Kathy Collins who came up from the audience to dance hula to "Ulupalakua," and by two young hula dancers whom we invited to dance to "Sophisticated Hula" (as we had seen them dance this before). The spontaneity of inviting hula dancers up on stage is such a Hawaiian thing to do! We received many compliments about our mix of Hawaiian and popular music, plus it was fun to recognize people in the audience who had attended my ukulele workshops the day before. What a great weekend of teaching, performing, and meeting old and new friends.

April 19. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

Thirteen people crowded into the Bailey House Museum gallery Saturday for the monthly workshop. Two women from Germany happened to know each other, with one taking private lessons and one taking classroom lessons from me. Both of their husbands are windsurfers. One man experienced his first workshop on Maui after taking 6 webcam lessons from his home in Alberta, Canada. Other first-timers and returnees (other than my regular students) came because of finding me on the Internet. When asked "Why do you keep coming back?", one player replied because of the challenge of playing by ear and the great value."

May 1. Upcountry Wedding at a field, Kula.

The Hawaiian Serenaders performed for a wedding ceremony Saturday at a horse pasture on the slopes of Haleakala, and during the wedding reception for friends Andrew and Holly Ho. The Bride and Groom and their wedding party rode into the ceremony on horseback as we played music. About 30 people attended the late afternoon ceremony. Afterwards, we drove down to Pukalani to entertain during the catered reception in Pukalani. About 60 people attended the reception. The cowboy theme was fun! (See photos)

May 10. Play Along with Ukulele Mele Workshop at Bailey House Museum, Wailuku. (for current workshop info)

We had two people come to the Saturday workshop who are both regulars. Eileen takes ongoing classes from me at Kaunoa Senior Center, and John has taken workshops and private lessons before.  John also plays u-bass, and so Rich lent him his instrument to play bass during our workshop. It was good to do something different, plus we played more difficult songs because I knew they could handle it. The only bad part was that I could feel my my sore throat getting more painful and I began to loose my voice. As they say, "The show must go on." We made a commitment to the Bailey House to give these monthly workshops for them, and I kept it with Rich's help on singing. It's a real pain to get sick, especially for a singer.

May 17. Sam's Upcountry Jam aka Ukulele Explosion at Kalama School, Makawao.

"Ukulele position. Playing position." What a sight to see the discipline and listen to over 100 intermediate school students perform Saturday at their school. Conducted by Benny Uyetake, the over an hour show was the longest we had watched the Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Band perform. For the first few years, Benny focuses on teaching them how to be good ukulele players by picking melodies on their instruments. It’s not until their later years that they add singing. Of course there are some talented students who can both play and sing.

We showed up at “Sam’s Upcountry Jam aka Ukulele Explosion” an hour after it began. We were supposed to have taught a workshop and performed on stage, but had to cancel four days before when I was diagnosed with laryngitis. We had fun playing our ukulele by ear when the Brown Ohana performed traditional Hawaiian songs on stage. At the end of the show, Benny announced there is “ukulele education royalty in the house”, and introduced me to the audience (to applause) and explained why we were not participating this year. It’s always nice to be given recognition in the community.

June 8. Upcountry Fair at Oskie Rice Park, Olinda.

Eight members of the Maui Ukulele Pops Band performed Sunday at the annual paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) themed event. Although the audience sitting right in front of us was small, the sound system carried our music far and wide to the people across the field looking at exhibits and dining under the tent. We performed 10 songs including two hulas from a variety of musical genres during our 45-minute set. Songs in order were Koni Au I Ka Wai, Dahil Sa Iyo, Ulupalakua, Hey Good Lookin, Maui Waltz, Ring of Fire, Puamana, Medley: La Bamba/Twist and Shout, Girl From Ipanema, This Land is Your Land, and Sophisticated Hula. Participants were Andrea, Ellen, Hinano, Holly, Janet, Kathleen, Linda, and Sandy. We experienced one snafu during "The Maui Waltz", when Rich's chord suddenly flew out of his u-bass so we momentarily didn't have any bass accompaniment. However, we just kept on playing and then he plugged back in and continued playing. No problem. This was the first year that we plugged Hinano's ukulele into the sound system so everyone could hear his "fill" parts during the Band show and during our next show. What fun we had! (See photos)

The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio performed another show immediately following the Ukulele Pops Band. We played 13 songs from a variety of musical genres in keeping with the upbeat, party atmosphere during our 45-minute set. Songs in order were Kupa Landing, Little Brown Gal, Wahine Ilikea, Under the Palm Tree, Princess Pupule, Kaula Ili, Ka Leo, Flying, Sweet Someone, Blues in the Night, Medley: Waimanalo Blues/Paniolo Country, To You Sweetheart Aloha, and Uwehi Ami and Slide. We were pleased when a lady from the audience jumped up to dance hula to Princess Pupule. What fun we had! (See photos)


 

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