Friday, July 5, 2013

AJ Leonard, Goodbye Water Board, Farewell Mark & Jane, and lots more (including our wonderful video)


1. AJ Leonard this Friday 12 July
2. WestNewkestra moves to Kotara
3.  Banjo Circle on Sunday
4. UUU rehearsal on Saturday 13th
5. New Monday afternoon Ukulele Entree class
6. Beginners Workshop 20 July
7. Mark and Jane away - what is on, what is off
8. Upcoming Festivals and Performances
9. New website doing well thanks
10. Calendar (yes we have one)
11. New phone number for Jane
12. Uke group leaders wanted
13. Mark in Cessnock
14. A wonderful surprise! 

1. AJ Leonard this Friday 12 July

AJ and Jenny popped into Wednesday night last week, on their way north from Melbourne. There is a sampler on the Hippo Campers blog. A Little Hula Heaven Concert starts 7:30pm. Workshop starts 5:30. Everything is at the Gallipoli Legion Club.

AJ is Australia's top ukulele virtuoso, and his music is very accessible (easy to listen and marvel to).  Book tickets here for Friday 12th.

2. WestNewkestra moves to Kotara

The attack of the $5 schnitties won the great ukulele-schnitzel battle of June 2013. As a result the WestNewkestra has left their quirky home for the last two and a bit years and moved to

 ... The Kotara Bowling Club ... 

Go to the WestNewkestra website for more details. Now you can have your ukulele and eat it too! (We are reliably informed that the restaurant is very good, and they allow ukuleles in adjacent spaces next to the bar!).

3. Banjo Circle

Jane's next Banjo Circle is being held on Sunday 14 July at the Wickham Croatian Sports Club.

1pm for a one hour beginners session (contact Jane to book in).  Cost for that session is $22 (which includes the jam session which follows).

From 2:15 to 3:45pm Jane facilitates a jam session for only $10. Click here for more details at the website.

4. UUU

The next UUU rehearsal is on Saturday 13 July - 1:30-3:00pm.

Everyone now knows The Middle (3 chords, round and round) and Price Tag (four chords round and round) off by heart? Right???

See the UUU blog for details, music, audio and video related to the last rehearsal and future ones.

To endeavour to learn by heart

In addition to knowing The Middle and Price Tag we would like you to remember how to play the following:
  • My Island Home
  • Catch My Disease
These are all on the UUU blog as well.

We will hopefully work on these ones

And if we get time

Busy Line which has the potential for some theatrics. A few people singers in the different ukestras have adopted this as their own, so we'll have to share out the lead vocals with whoever is there on the day!

If you have not been to the UUU before, the sorta rules are here.

5. New Entree

Leigh I'Anson is taking a new Ukulele Entree class starting this Monday 8 July at the Wickham Croatian Sports Club. This one is from 3:30-5:15pm and runs for six weeks. Talk to Jane if you wish to join it. Info on Ukulele Entree classes is here. There are a few parent-child attendees participating in this one too, so perhaps you might consider other parent-child combos when referring on (not you Nora and Roly).

6. Next Beginners

Danielle is running a beginners workshop on Saturday 20 July, at Wickham. Book in with Susan.

7. Mark and Jane away - what is on, what is off.

We are travelling to Hawaii to perform at the Hawaii Ukulele Festival, then are off to Vancouver to start our 3rd year of the James Hill Ukulele Initiative (ukulele teacher training). We both passed 2nd year with flying colours, within 3 marks off each other. It is prudent not to say who got the top mark.

After Vancouver we head down the West Coast of the USA, delivering ukestration workshops. You can keep up with our adventures either on Facebook or on our Ukestration blog.

Continuing as normal

Danielle and Leigh's normal classes (Wednesday morning Kotara and Cessnock arvo and evening) continue as usual, but they are also taking many of the classes that Jane and Mark normally lead. This is a good opportunity to see how different skilled musicians lead ukestras. We are all certainly different, and each of us has our strengths (and of course weaknesses).
  • Mondays and Tuesday nights at the Wickham Croatian Sports Club - Monday Wickos and the Ukastle Ukestra - are being lead by Leigh whilst we are away.
  • Tuesday arvos (LakeMacUkestra at Teralba), Thursday nights (WestNewkestra at Kotara) and The Hippo Campers (Wednesday night at Wickham) - Danielle is taking the reins.
  • All entree courses run as usual at the Kotara Bowling Club and the Wickham Croatian Sports Club.

Not continuing whilst Mark and Jane are away

The following ukestras will not be happening during our absence - but please!!! Head along to another one!
  • The Ukestral Voices Choir is not happening on 19, 26 July and 2, 9 August. Returns on 16 August.
  • No-one will be facilitating the Tomaree Ukestra on Monday mornings. But they often show up anyhow during these sorta breaks. Ask us for a contact person if you would like to know more. So Mark won't be there 22, 29 July and 5 August. He may be a little sleepy on 12 August.
  • The Paterson Pluckestra seem to gather at the pub on Monday evenings no matter what. But no-one will be there to organise or teach things except their own damn selves. There'll probably be abominations like banjo and blues introduced whilst Mark is away. Expect unexpected revelry and Bealified bastardisations. Or nothing. Maybe no-one will go. But that is unlikely. Mark won't be there Monday 22, 29 July or 5 August. He will return for his usual black death (coke and a middy of black) on the 12th.

8. Upcoming Festivals and Performances

Festivals are what the UUU is all about.  If you don't UUU, but would like to perform, you have to learn the songs, and take an appropriate position in the backline. However there is nothing quite like the joy of rehearsing with the UUU!

August 24-25 - Central Coast Ukulele Festival at The Entrance

The Ukastle Ukestra performs at The Entrance at 2:30-2:55 on Sunday 25 August. We'll be followed by the Central Coast Ukulele Club, which is followed by a 'super-jam'. For more info click here.

20-22 September - Brisbane Ukulele Festival

We are performing in Brisbane, but don't know times yet. Spruke is its name. We really want to know YOUR names if you are coming as we need to start organising for this. Currently we have Gail, Martin, Dorothy, Judy, Penny, Susan and Dave listed as going (with Mark and Jane too). More would be great. Jump into an advanced Spring in Brisbane!

11-13 October - Dungog - we got in!

Yep. The UUU and other associated entities (including The Do Riders) have got into Planet Dungog. We haven't got formal arrangements yet in regards to the Ukestras, but we'll let you know as soon as we do.

8-10 November - Ukulele Jamboree near Dungog 

The Blue Mountains folk have organised a camping uke gathering at Riverwood Downs near Dungog. More info here --> Ukulele Jamboree. Should be a rather big one and a lot of (free) uke fun.

30 November - New Zealand Ukulele Festival

Jane and Mark are taking a bunch of kids to perform at the New Zealand Ukulele Festival in late November. We'll meet up with 2-3,000 other children in a stadium in Auckland. OMG. What have we done!?

9. New website doing well thanks

We are still focussing on making the website more engaging and informative. New blogs now exist for each ukestra - new pages too.  If you fancy yourself as a writer (or even just a documenter!), then please stick your hand up to report back to everyone about what has happened at your ukestra this week.

10. Calendar

If we are thinking about something, often we'll put the date in the calendar before we announce it formally. Do keep an eye on The Sum of the Parts (music) calendar. It's on the website.

11. Jane's New Phone

If you have Jane's number in your phone, then it might be best to change it. She is finally ditching her old work phone. New number is 0478 624 883. Of course you can ring her old phone if you still want Umwelt to do some environmental consulting for you.

12. Uke group leaders wanted

Our local communities are constantly asking for performances by ukulele groups. Small local fetes, nursing homes, the variety of performance venues is endless. Marg & Neil Weaver and Elizabeth Glazebrook, amongst others, have taken it upon themselves to provide a community service of music, organising people to perform in the community. Often in nursing homes where the appreciation levels are high.

Our local ukulele community needs more leaders to meet this demand. It is a really great next step for your contribution to the community through your musical skills (or just willingness to get up there and be public!).

The Sum of the Parts (music) gets very frequent requests, most of which we pass on to existing community music leaders in our networks.  Are you one? 

13. Mark in Cessnock

Leigh is taking a small break this week, so Mark is taking up his duties in Cessnock, both afternoon and evening! He is looking forward to meeting some of the newer, and older people (who started with the beginners class in February).  He hopes he can measure up to the high standard that Leigh has no doubt already set!

14. Ukastle Ukestra Price Tag Video

And finally, if you don't know why you are here, it is because of the joy and experiences that the uke brings to our lives. As we've been writing this blog we've had our latest video delivered. A total delight. Watch and enjoy. Thanks to everyone who made it happen (including the Thursday night audio participants).

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