A handful of enthusiastic students spent two days constructing their own steel guitars under the direction of luthier Bob Gleason of Pegasus Guitars and Ukuleles. Bob has taught a lot of guitar and ukulele building classes in Hawaii and on the mainland, and this will the third Lap Steel construction class he has conducted. He is the steel guitar workshop clinician for the Aloha Music Camp.
The two-day workshop required concentrated efforts of the workshop participants due to the limited time available. However, the construction projects were all completed. Festival organizer Alan Akaka said, "The instruments I saw were beautiful and the feedback from those students were very positive."
Pomai Brown, one of the festival's featured steel guitarists for Saturday's ho'olaule'a, was among those building their own instruments. While he has many steel guitars in his collection, he never experienced building his own steel guitar. Bob was joined by his wife Anne who helped with the class. Said Bob, "Anne and I enjoyed our time with the participants and were pleased to help them build instruments."
Festival organizers are hopeful that a similar workshop can be offered as a part of the 2018 Hawai'i Steel Guitar Festival. Information about the workshop will be posted on the festival website and Facebook page when it becomes available.
Kaua'i Steel Guitar Festival
March 1-2, 2019 - Sheraton Hotel, Kapa'a, Kaua'i (formerly Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach)
Maui Steel Guitar Camp
TBD - Maui site
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
TBD - Maui site
TBD - Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 8, 2019 (tentative) - Windward Mall, Kaneohe
Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikiki Steel Guitar Week
July 8-13, 2019 (tentative)
Monday-Thursday - Nightly Evening Performances
Friday-Saturday - Festival Ho'olaule'a Performances
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Kahala Mall - Keiki Style
August 17, 2019 - Kahala Mall, Honolulu
Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival
December 6-8, 2019 - Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kohala Coast, Hawai'i (formerly Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows)
HIMELE is a Hawai'i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.