skip to main content

‘Ukulele & Hula '06—Learn from the Masters


‘Ukulele & Hula '06 offers an unprecedented opportunity to learn from a stellar group of ‘ukulele and hula masters and musicians. Sponsored by Windward Community College's Hawai‘i Music Institute, the sessions are open to players/dancers of all ages and levels of experiences.

A day of ‘ukulele and hula workshops and music-making for people of all ages. Polish your skills and experience the history from a stellar grup of ‘ukulele and hula masters.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

8:00 a.m. Registration

8:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. Workshops

Download Information and Registration form (pdf)

Scholarships are available. Visit or call 235-7433 for application form. Deadline for scholarship application is August 31, 2006.


One hour and 45 minutes each

‘Ukulele I - Introduction to ‘ukulele basics for the student with little or no experience in playing the ‘ukulele. This could include music theory, strumming and picking techniques, chords and scales. Handouts will be provided.

‘Ukulele II - Continuation of ‘ukulele basics. This could include music theory, rhythm, chordal structure of songs, and picking techniques. Handouts will be provided.

‘Ukulele III - At this level, students will focus on themes and variations, move away from the melody line, perform key changes, harmony and improvisation.

Hula I - In this session, the kumu hula will be teaching a hula ku‘i entitled "Nene‘u." This song refers to the beautiful beach that fronts Poka‘i Bay.

Hula II - This workshop will focus on basic hula steps and hand motions for beginning level dancers. Participants will be able to learn a simple hula kahiko. Students are asked to dress comfortably, hula skirts for women and shorts and t-shirts for men.

About the Artists - ‘Ukulele Instructors

Benny Chong is a gifted performer who has elevated jazz ‘uke playing to a new level because of the musical challenges of his repertoire and the complexity of his techniques. He has participated as an invited performer at two ‘Ukulele Workshops" hosted by Windward Community College and taught at ‘Ukulele 2004. His impressive renditions of jazz standards and mastery of the ‘ukulele has earned him an appreciative and loyal following by ‘ukulele enthusiasts. ‘Ukulele Jazz, Chong's latest CD, contains tasty samples of Benny's unique arrangements and masterful playing.

Ron Loo, a respected artist and ‘ukulele instructor, performs throughout the islands with his own musical group, Pila Nahenahe, and conducts ‘ukulele and slack key workshops at Windward Community College and elsewhere. Lei DeFreitas, John Almeida and Kahauanu Lake are credited with teaching Ron ‘ukulele basics. In addition, he has coordinated the ‘Ukulele 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 workshops.

Gordon Mark is a popular ‘ukulele teacher, performer and arranger. He has adapted classical music to the ‘ukulele and has performed as a soloist with the Honolulu Symphony. He has given private and group institution in Hawaii for over 30 years and has worked with students of all ages and abilities. Gordon and his music have been featured in workshps, on television (several Na Mele Programs), recordings (The Art of Solo ‘Ukulele, Golden ‘Ukulele), in classes that he teachers throughout the state, and in a publication (Mark I: ‘Ukulele Methods).

Herb Ohta, Jr. is an accomplished ‘ukulele artist who began teaching for his father's ‘ukulele school at the age of eleven. In 1992, Herb started his own ‘ukulele school, which he continues to operate. His ‘ukulele artistry has earned him three Na Hoku Hanohano Awards: Most Promising Artist in 1995, Best Instrumental of the Year in 1998, Best Instrumental of the Year in 1999. ‘Ukulele Winter Island, Sandii's Lemurian Heart,The ‘Ukulele Beatles 2, and ‘Ukulele Breeze are several CDs that showcase Herb's wizardry on the ‘ukulele.

Bruce Shimabukuro is a gifted teacher who got his first experience teaching ‘ukulele at his brother's ‘Ukulele Academy in Hawai‘i Kai. The ‘Ukulele Academy closed because brother Jake had difficulty recording, performing and teaching. Bruce discovered his passion for teaching and opened ‘Ukulele Essence, a school focused on ‘ukulele instruction. He has accompanied Jake on several trips to Japan, and now goes there alone to conduct his own ‘ukulele workshops. Incognito, Bruce's ‘ukulele solo debut highlights his strumming skills, frenetic fingerwork, and arranging prowess.

About the Artists - Kumu Hula

Noenoelani Zuttermeister Lewis is a respected kumu hula, hula judge, workshop leader and dancer, who learned hula from her mother, kumu hula Kau‘i Zuttermeister. Noenoelani perpetuates the tradition of the Zuttermeister Halau Hula through her classes at UH Manoa, as a lecturer in Hawaiian chant and dance and at her Halau Hula in Kane‘ohe, Hawai‘i. She has performed throughout the world, including China and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. From 1989 through 2003, she served as a judge of the prestigious Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. In addition, she has been invited to judge numerous other hula competitions locally, nationally, and internationally, such as the Uilani Hawaiian Hula Competition in Tokyo.

Holoua Stender studied hula, mele oli and mele hula with John Keola Lake (1970-1973), John Kaha‘i Topolinski (1973-1976) and Darrell Lupenui (1976-1977). He attained the rank of Kumu Hula in 1979 when he graduated in ‘uniki ceremonies from Halau Mohala Lehua under the direction of Kumu Hula Keli‘i Tau‘a. He has taught Hawaiian chant and dance, language, history and culture at the Kamehameha Schools from 1979-2003, and at Windward Community College from 1987-1996.