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Author Topic: First ukulele concert of the season  (Read 2328 times)

Tom

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First ukulele concert of the season
« on: October 30, 2013, 12:19:30 PM »
Last evening was the final rehearsal for our Friday, November 1st ukulele concert, the first of the Fall season. I just completed the on-stage seating chart; 36 of our 46 members will be performing, some of them for the first time in public. The program includes several new-to-us numbers, in addition to some of our old favorites, and the band has worked hard to get ready. One of our newer members will also fill in as a dancer on a few hula numbers.

In addition to the printed program, audience members will have a sheet of lyrics for a couple of songs, so they can sing along; (Limited) audience participation is always well received. Folks don't need the printed lyrics to join in the last verse of God Bless America.

Aloha!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 12:28:57 PM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 11:27:43 PM »
The stage was set. Not really a stage per se, as we were seated at audience level this evening, thanks to the layout of the venue. This morning we set up the performers' chairs and the sound system; Interesting acoustics in this small hall with a low ceiling. Seating charts, programs and handouts were printed. I had spare sets of music for the inevitable folks who either forgot to bring theirs, or brought the wrong set.

We started at 7:00pm sharp, and had good audience feedback and participation. Newer members of the band had a blast performing for a receptive audience. Originally, my ending solo wasn't in the program, but at the 11th hour the Maestro asked if we could do it. As we've seen multiple times, the audience was on their feet when I hit the key change for the second verse (the one that most folks know), and they realized what song I was singing.
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captsteve

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 02:34:40 AM »
Sounds like a good time for all.

Maybe someday I will be able to attend one and find out what your solo is all about!! :D
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Tom

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 05:49:06 AM »
Steve, it's Irving Berlin's God Bless America, which usually stirs the emotions among the audience. I've been working on our Music Director to let me try Lee Greenwood's Proud To Be An American; He and I sang it as a duet at a Memorial Day service some years ago.

That reminds me it's time to get working on a Veterans Day singalong for another club. Last year was the first time I was asked to arrange this; Many of our members are vets and sing the marching songs of the five active service branches, while a video plays in the foreground. The closing scene of the video is the Iwo Jima memorial.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 08:31:25 AM by Tom »
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captsteve

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 06:21:40 AM »
Oh!!! I would love to see/hear all of that!!  I'll bring the tissues when I come.
Capt Steve has the Conn, Trina navigator ( Admiral )
2004 American Revolution 40c (aka Fat Girl) **Sold**
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Tom

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2013, 06:30:47 AM »
You might need a towel  ;D   Our Music Director warned folks at our last rehearsal not to look directly in the faces of audience members during that song, or they might get caught up in the emotion  :'(

I recognized a number of chorus members from the 85-member Summerset Singers in our audience last evening; We share the same Music Director, and they're all very good singers, so I felt a little concerned about being up to their (singing) standard. I also bumped into their Assistant Music Director earlier in the day, and she told me she'd be there.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 06:33:41 AM by Tom »
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captsteve

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2013, 06:34:48 AM »
Well I'm glad to hear that there was no pressure then... :o :o :o

I wish I could sing. If I tried the alley cats would run me out of town.
Capt Steve has the Conn, Trina navigator ( Admiral )
2004 American Revolution 40c (aka Fat Girl) **Sold**
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Piper Archer II  (Where the RV money goes)

Tom

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2013, 06:37:48 AM »
Quote
... the alley cats would run me out of town.

LOL that's what I was a little concerned about with such a musically discerning group in the audience  :-[
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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 04:14:15 PM »
Quote
... it's time to get working on a Veterans Day singalong for another (retired guys) club.

Sure enough, I received a call yesterday reminding me that we have an 'annual tradition'. I'd planned to enhance the video and audio for this year, but somehow time slipped by  :-[

Quote
The closing scene of the video is the Iwo Jima memorial.

Non-attendees who received copies of the video last year, including USMC veterans, called me to let me know how the video, the singing, and especially the ending scene, really got to them (emotionally).
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Tom

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 11:01:44 AM »
Just added two more holiday season performances to our calendar; Both are appearances with the Summerset Singers. This brings us to a total of 5 performances for the Delta Strummers in December, 2 standalone concerts and 3 joint performances. Also added our holiday party, where the restaurant owner usually asks us to play and sing a few songs for his other customers.

Earlier this week I received a request to "lead the singing" at a holiday event for another group.

Hopefully, we get a day off to celebrate the holiday  ???
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 11:07:32 AM by Tom »
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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2013, 11:41:34 AM »
'tis the season ...

Received (and accepted) a request to join a small ensemble playing/singing at a local school.

Also heard that we'll be joined at one of our 'joint' performances by a local group of Girl Scouts; They have a skit they'll perform while we play/sing. They'll turn up to our practice with their parents next Tuesday. Should be interesting.
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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 01:52:29 PM »
Yesterday afternoon, 32 Delta Strummers joined the 85-strong Summerset Singers on stage at El Campanil Theatre in Antioch for their 'East Bay Christmas' show. This is the largest and most majestic of the venues where the Strummers have performed. Although we had a relatively small part in the program, everyone had a blast, and the combined sound of over 100 voices accompanied by ukuleles was quite something.

The best laid plans .... Using measurements and a mock-up at another location, I'd published and revised a 'standing chart' for the band to perform in three rows in front of the singers on their risers. But, when I turned up at the theatre, there wasn't enough room for 3 rows. Most folks were quite understanding, and squeezed into two rows, trying not to trip over stage mic's and floor monitors.

As we stood on stage for the pre-show sound check, I reminded a number of folks that a year ago we were in the audience at this theatre, and I'd commented "wouldn't this be a great venue for the Delta Strummers to perform?".

Kudos again to our Music Director (he also directs the chorus) for for a great production, and for prepping and drilling everyone.

Our cameo appearance gets repeated twice in joint concerts in the next couple of weeks, in addition to two full-up Delta Strummers concerts.
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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2013, 04:17:02 PM »
Two more cameo appearances (with the mixed chorus) and two more standalone concerts helped bring our ukulele season to a close.

Yesterday morning, 5 of us (4 uke players and a guitarist) played with approx 50 elementary school kids (2nd and 3rd graders); The kids sang their hearts out, and we all had a blast. In the afternoon, 31 Delta Strummers played and sang for an appreciative audience at an assisted-living community. The folks were encouraged to sing along, and one of their staff (again) joined us, playing a tambourine. This lady has a tremendous voice and a great sense of rhythm, and has sung and played in one of our full-up concerts in the past.

We're done for the season, and folks can take time with their families over the holidays. We start our Spring season mid January with a new portfolio of songs to learn and practice. Meanwhile, for me it's back to practicing on the banjo. A few days ago I dusted off the keyboard, and started practicing at my elementary level. Wish I'd learned to play when I was a kid.
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Tom

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Re: First ukulele concert of the season
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2013, 04:31:02 PM »
Things get a little tight at some of the assisted-living communities. At this one in Antioch, CA we play in their dining room, as it's the largest room available. Dining tables and chairs get shoved aside and we have a small crew of uke players bring in folding chairs for our players. Chris was in the upstairs hallway trying to snap the (larger) original of this pic over/between the railings. I need to spend some time with the original in Photoshop.
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