This month we shine the Spotlight ON! Vickie Van Fechtmann.
Vickie Van Fechtmann is a familiar face at steel guitar festivals statewide. As with many steel players, Vickie got her start on the ‘ukulele but eventually transitioned to the steel guitar.
Vickie currently resides on the island of Hawai‘i, in the Kaimu-Kalapana area of Puna, with her cat Gabby (Named in honor of musician Gabby Pahinui) and her dog Mia.
"I was born and raised in Indiana, then moved to San Francisco where I lived for 12 years before retiring to Hawai‘i." While in San Francisco, Vickie worked at the Univerisity of San Francisco.
Vickie continues, "I think I was always interested in music and my mother tells me they bought me a record player as a child in the hopes I could learn to carry a tune! Both my parents liked music and we watched all those variety shows on TV—Dean Martin, Andy Willimas, etc.
Vickie recalls her start in music: "I took up the ‘ukulele and became interested in Hawaiian music after discovering a group of ‘ukulele players who gathered to play in a café near where I worked in San Francisco."
"I met many friends through ukulele groups. I started going to a kanikapila in Alameda where Kalina Wong played steel guitar. I loved the sound and bought one."
Vickie took lessons for a year or so in San Francisco before moving to Hawai‘i Island. She met Kumu Alan Akaka when she attended the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Camp on Maui that preceded that year's Maui Steel Guitar Festival.
Vickie has been a steel guitar student of Kumu Alan Akaka for about 4 years.
This video is of a performance by Vickie Van Fechtmann doing "Kaulana o Hilo Hanakahi" from the 2019 Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival. Vickie is backed up by Kumu Alan Akaka and Addison Ching.
The video can also be seen on YouTube.
This feature is a snapshot of the complete tribute that is posted on the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase website. See the complete tribute here.Feature
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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.
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