A Concert & Film

Saturday, Aug 13 2022, 7:00 PM

Maui Arts & Cultural Center – McCoy Studio Theater

A fundraiser to support Mohala Hou Foundation’s World ‘Ukulele Educational Outreach Program in Sikkim and Bhutan.

(via Maui Arts & Cultural Center website)

A note from Keola Beamer:

For our concert fundraiser on August 13, we honor the sweet legacy of my mother, Nona Beamer.

I am looking forward to working with fellow guitarists, Jeff Peterson and Tom Lunneberg. Over the years, Jeff has achieved tremendous success and at the same time become like a son to me. I love playing with him and exploring the fascinating tonality of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. I’ve also been enjoying Tom Lunneberg’s interesting and inventive compositions for acoustic guitar. Tom started off as one of my best students and now he’s in a league of his own. It’s going to be fun to hear him present his latest work to our Maui audience.

Especially for our Maui show, we are introducing Isaac Maluhia Castillo. Living on the island of Kauai, Maluhia is a professional musician and teacher. Having played the bass for over 20 years, Maluhia has performed with bands ranging from classical, jazz, funk, rock and bluegrass in venues such as Benaroya Hall in Seattle and Carnegie Hall in New York. For the last 2 years he has been teaching at Kanuikapono, a Hawaiian charter school, as their primary mele teacher, working with grades k-12.

Our Evening of Aloha will feature a screening of Tom Vendetti’s powerful film, LUNANA: A Yak In The Classroom. The film tells the story of a young teacher in modern Bhutan, Ugyen, who shirks his duties while planning to go to Australia to become a singer.

As a reprimand, his superiors send him to the most remote school in the world, a glacial Himalayan village called Lunana, to complete his service. He finds himself exiled from his Westernized comforts after an arduous eight-day trek just to get there. There he finds no electricity, no textbooks, not even a blackboard.

Though poor, the villagers extend a warm welcome to their new teacher, but he faces the daunting task of teaching the village children without any supplies. He wants to quit and go home, but he begins to learn of the hardship in the lives of the beautiful children he teaches, and begins to be transformed through the amazing spiritual strength of the villagers. The film is not rated.  CLICK HERE for the trailer.

An exciting part of our fundraiser will be an auction for a beautiful koa tenor ‘ukulele, built by master luthier Steve Grimes as a generous donation to Mohala Hou Foundation.  Steve Grimes notes about this instrument, which is in the final stages of construction:

Grimes Tenor Ukulele

This Grimes tenor ukulele is made of select curly koa that has been part of my collection since I moved to Maui in 1982. It has an African ebony fingerboard, bridge and peghead overlay, and light-colored curly koa bindings. Its rosette is also of curly koa, bordered by two 5-ply rings of multi-colored wood, which also trim the body and peghead. The neck is made from Honduran mahogany. I will probably string it with low-G tuning, since that’s what the majority of my uke customers prefer. I will include a saddle that is designed (intonated) for re-entrant (high G) tuning so that the uke will tune optimally for either tuning.

Also being auctioned to benefit Mohala Hou is a very rare early 30’s Martin Style O soprano uke that, to me, looks like it was played very sparingly, if at all, since it was built. It is in mint + condition, with its original case, and even has its original gut strings in the case.

Early 30’s Martin Ukulele

The goal of our program is to provide kids from Sikkim and Bhutan with ‘Ukulele as a way to enrich their lives and communities through the power of music. Children will learn to better understand the essential connection of music and dance in other cultures, then begin to assimilate these ideas and instruments into their own culture.

To begin this process, our instructors will teach the children songs in their own language. By learning to play their own songs on their own instruments, then taking these instruments home to their villages, the warmth, joy, and aloha of music will begin to spread and uplift the lives and hearts of their extended families.

See the source image

Sikkim is in northeast India, at the base of the Himalayas and bordered by Nepal, Tibet/China, and Bhutan.

Our outreach in Sikkim and Bhutan in 2022 and 2023 will follow the approach we developed for our highly successful program in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2016

This program is underwritten by The Mohala Hou Foundation (MHF). MHF is a non-profit organization that presents Aloha Music Camp (AMC) and other educational and cultural programs to foster understanding and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture.

Through AMC, the Beamer ʻohana and other Hawaiian kumu (teachers) have provided teaching and cultural context in ʻukulele, guitar hula, ʻōlelo (language), oli (chant), and traditional Hawaiian crafts to thousands of participants of all ages over the 21 years of its operation. The expertise of MHF in developing and presenting cultural enrichment programs ensures that the Sikkim and Bhutan children will receive the highest quality of instruction that is responsive to their needs and interests.