Music

Stories regarding Molokai’s music scene

Molokai Summer Praise Concert

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Diane Abraham

Music is part of the human experience, from a mother’s lullaby to a newborn, to a heavenly anthem, to a rock concert. We are all touched by music in one way or another, and often in multiple ways, especially here in Hawaii where music is a valued tradition. On July 19, the people of Molokai are going to be treated to a very special outdoor concert, free of charge.

In its fifth year, the Summer Praise Concert is being put on by churches here on island. This concert is at the Kaunakakai ball field from 6 to 10 p.m.…

Ukulele Collector Strums Up Business

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Ukulele Collector Strums Up Business

Todd Ragsdale, a boat builder, musician and fervent collector, wanted to try something different after retirement.

Six months ago, he fused his passion for music and fondness for collecting ukuleles into a business to share both his hobbies with Molokai. Thus was born Molokai Music Maker, where he sells handmade and vintage ukuleles from Hawaii, the mainland, Indonesia and beyond.

“It’s like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” said Ragsdale, a Honolulu native, while plucking one of his many ukuleles, improvising a melody at Hotel Molokai’s weekly Friday market. “You can’t have the peanut butter without the jelly. You come to Hawaii, you should have a ukulele.”

Ragsdale began collecting a decade ago, and has continued his quest while starting his business.…

2014 May Day Highlights

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

2014 May Day Highlights

Each year, schools around the island celebrate May Day, known as Lei Day in Hawaii. Students at each school are selected for the royal court to represent every island, and perform songs and dances for family and friends. Here, we represent each celebration that’s taken place over the past three weeks.…

Dancing With Purpose

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Dancing With Purpose

What do ballroom dancing and sexual abuse prevention have in common? If your answer is “nothing,” you’ve never been to Kealoha Hooper’s ballroom classes on Molokai. While some might view ballroom dancing as old-fashioned or out-dated, Hooper is using ballroom to teach lessons of respect and start conversations about a problem plaguing many of today’s communities: violence and sexual abuse of children.

Ballroom dance classes sponsored through Molokai’s Consuelo Foundation, an organization working to prevent child neglect, violence and abuse, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) are teaching Molokai students more than how to rumba, fox trot and tango. The classes are enriching lives by improving self-confidence, communication, acceptance of others and regard for personal boundaries, said Hooper, a ballroom dance instructor who danced professionally with at Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Portland Oregon.…

Dancing with the Winds: Ka Hula Piko 2014

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Dancing with the Winds: Ka Hula Piko 2014

Ancient Hawaiians used winds to recognize and heed messages of warning, blessings and things to come. The 23rd annual Ka Hula Piko festival brought the Molokai community, along with visitors from around the world, together to celebrate hula traditions and how Hawaiians today are connected to kupuna of the past through the elements.

“The wind and the elements are so important in our lives and our ancestors made connections to them…that taught us to mind the protocol and be aware of these elements when they are in action,” said Elsie Ryder, ho`opa`a, or chanter, of Halau Hula O Kukunaokala. “Our ancestors and Ke Akua communicate with us through the elements.”

This year’s theme for the event was “Ku I Ke Kiu,” honoring the northwestern Kiu wind, or scout wind, that welcomed travelers to Pu`u Nana, the birthplace of hula, in the ancient days.…

Sharing the Love of Music

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Sharing the Love of Music

Inside the white brick walls of Kaunakakai Elementary School room A-103, the reverberation of melodies fill the air after school Mondays and Wednesdays as keiki, parents and community members tackle playing some of the toughest string instruments to learn.

The students are a part of the Molokai Community Band and the 21st Century Instrumental Music program, an after-school music program for individuals of all ages to receive group music lessons and learn a string or woodwind instrument. The focus is learning how to read music, play an instrument and interact with others in a group environment, said Bob Underwood, a first grade teacher at Kaunakakai Elementary and volunteer string instrument teacher.…

Finding Neverland: Kualapu`u Students Perform School’s Last Musical

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Finding Neverland: Kualapu`u Students Perform School’s Last Musical

Keiki sent their loved ones flying on a musical journey to Neverland last Thursday evening at Kualapu`u School’s performance of “Peter Pan” and the school’s last theater production.

The overflowing school cafeteria left only standing room for latecomers to watch 35 eager students of all ages sing, dance, and deliver “Peter Pan,” their second musical and fourth annual production. Students performed last week during school for classmates on April 7 and 8 and for their ohana on April 9 and 10 at 6 p.m. Students write, choreograph, and direct an original screenplay as part of a class lesson each year. This year, the unit emphasized self-entitlement with a concept titled, “Who Do You Think You Are?” in which students explored their own identities.…

Lessons in a Whale’s Belly

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Lessons in a Whale’s Belly

Keiki had a whale of a time learning about humpback whales and their place in the environment Friday. But while most have only seen the great creatures from a distance, students at Kilohana School got up close and personal, climbing into the belly of a 36-foot inflatable humpback, softly rocking to soothing whale sounds and taking an imaginative ride around island’s waters.

“My name is Captain Mark and I’ll be your tour guide today,” Storybook Theater Executive Director Mark Jeffers said as he saluted to Kilohana School’s second grade class. “Today we are going to learn how whales are like people.”

Back by popular demand and part of a statewide tour, Jeffers’ traveling classroom stopped on Molokai last week, bringing an entertaining and interactive learning performance to children pre-kindergarten to fifth grade from a variety of schools.…

Hula Under the Banyan

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Hula Under the Banyan

Through a swish of hips, gestures of graceful hands, shake of the `uli `uli and toss of flaming torches, attendees of Moana’s Hula Halau’s annual dinner show were treated to a journey of the elements and senses through hula and Polynesian arts. After the evening of first-class live music and entertainment, the full house of guests offered a standing ovation Saturday at the Molokai Community Health Center. Featuring Tahitian, traditional and modern dances, as well as special guests from Maui with fire and haka performances under the canopy of the banyan tree, the show was both impressive and emotional for many.…

Vocalist Returns to Molokai

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Vocalist Returns to Molokai

Molokai native and award-winning vocalist Melveen Leed sang for a packed house at Paddlers Inn last Saturday night. Hula group Na Kupuna O Moana opened for and accompanied the singing legend throughout the night.

“Tonight is wonderful,” said Raquel Dudoit, kumu hula for Moana’s Hula Halau. “It’s crazy that this many people are here and it’s nice to see everyone.”

Dudoit said Na Kupuna O Moana practice every Tuesday for over an hour and have more performances each year than she can count. They have won hula competitions around the state.

Leed has been good friends with Dudoit since childhood. She has been performing for 54 years and can sing in 18 different languages she said.…