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Unforgettable Experiences That Sealed My Love Of The Ukulele Forever
By Alfredo Canopin, Sr. In the summer of 1951 at the age of 16, I participated in a ukulele contest at the Palama Settlement in Honolulu. It was a surprising experience to win 1st place which I was presented by, at that time, the popular M.C of KGMB, J. Akuhead Pupule, a 1st place winner prize of a beautiful radio made of walnut wood. My family and I was so proud seeing me printed in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper.
After having the experience of winning 1st place, I entered another contest and found there would be several different talent of various types. There were accordion players, guitarist’s vocal talent and small ensembles. My older sister advised that I needed to play a special song that would be different from everyone else. I played a medley of 3 songs and called it, “Chop Suey Medley”. It was so different, that again I won 1st place. That day I have never forgotten when one of the judges conversed with me and advised me to pursue reading music. I followed that judges words of wisdom.
My most unforgettable experience with my ukulele is my trip to Portugal, where I performed in the 1998 World Expo. I also was honored to be invited to a special father & son Nunes Family Reunion: “The Braguinha Meets the Ukulele Concert” in Madeira, Portugal.
My wife witnesses my love for my ukulele…she hears my playing everyday.
ABOUT Alfredo Canopin, Sr.