Thursday, September 11, 2014

Live Aloha

     The big day finally came.  Linda and I rushed home from church, changed clothes,  and drove down to the Seattle Center.  We arrived with just 45 minutes to spare. Amazingly we found a parking place in the parking garage right across the street from the Seattle Center. I guess it wasn't really so amazing considering that it cost $15.00 to park there. By the time we had parked and hurried over to the location of the concert we walked right into the column of ukulele players lined up waiting to enter.  I found my group easily enough and had time to stand in line with my brother and sister ukulele players for about 25 minutes before they started to herd us into the concert area. Meanwhile, Linda found a good place in the audience so she could take some video.  I was unable to include the video in the blog post due to technical difficulties. I will try again with the video on Facebook.
The Live Aloha Stage

The Live Aloha Stage was located right
 in front of the Space Needle

     I was very concerned about the fact that I had not managed to memorize all of the words and chords for some of the songs.  However, I was very fortunate to end up standing next to a woman who had the foresight to bring a small music stand.  It is so much more fun to play and sing when I know the song by heart and I'm not tied to the music.  Memorizing the words is more of a daunting task when singing in a foreign language and the words are more or less nonsense syllables.  We played a total of five songs, three in Hawaiian and two in English. Alu Like, Haole Hula, Ka Na'I Aupuni, There's No Place Like Hawaii, and E Huli.  I enjoyed the last song the most. Partly because because I had memorized both words and chords, and partly because there were about a dozen people doing the hula right in front of us.

I'm the guy with the gray hair in the second row on the right
      I did a bit of an encore performance two days later. I was asked to bring my ukulele to a Relief Society function. They were having an Hawaiian cultural evening which featured Hawaiian food, some dancing, a game, and a short presentation about the history of the LDS church in Hawaii. I played a few songs while they ate and filled in between some of the activities. I even got a few sisters to sing along with me on two songs that were in English.  Towards the end I explained about the song Hawaii Aloha which Hawaiians sing at the end of almost every gathering, including sessions of the Hawaii State Legislature. The song expresses their love for the place of their birth.  We sing it at the end of every ukulele class. Its like the closing hymn. Its traditional that everybody holds hands while they sing it (unless you're playing an ukulele). Having experienced the emotion the Hawaiians have attached to this song I get a bit emotional myself when I listen to it or sing it. I guess I'm becoming somewhat of a Wannabe Hawaiian.  I love their kind gentle spirit. Its hard for me to imagine how Captain Cook managed to get himself killed on his visit to Hawaii.


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