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Author Topic: New uke season  (Read 3304 times)

Tom

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New uke season
« on: August 30, 2014, 12:29:17 AM »
Our Fall/winter ukulele season is about to get underway, and lots of prep has been going on. We have 5 performances booked for October through December, and we'll be practicing hard for the next 6 weeks. One venue wanted us to play every month, but I respectfully declined.

This week I emailed our practice list and updated our song book with new songs. 10 people just graduated from our beginners class, 1 member dropped, and the band is now up to 60 players (we were 9 when I joined 3 years ago). Our Music Director is very capable of keeping us all in line, as he does with his 80-member mixed chorus.

Logistics get to be more challenging as we grow, but it's fun to watch folks integrate into the band and develop musically.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 01:04:26 AM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2014, 01:11:54 AM »
Quote
Our Music Director ... with his 80-member mixed chorus.

A few days ago, I suggested (tongue in cheek) that the band will soon be the same size as the chorus. That's when I heard they plan to grow the chorus to 100 singers in the coming year. Another joint performance (band/chorus) would be quite spectacular.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 07:47:20 PM »
Our first rehearsal of our new ukulele season last evening saw 50 of our 60 members show up, the largest number at any rehearsal to date. Not too shabby, given the fact that a number are on vacation or had other commitments.

It was clear that a lot of folks have been practicing during the Summer hiatus. Vocals still need some work, and we have 6 weeks to improve before our first concert.

This afternoon I spent time with our Director figuring out how we add more variety into our shows; Breakout groups, solos, alternative instruments, folks standing to play, alternating groups singing, Polynesian dancers, audience singalong, and more. This promises to be a fun season.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2014, 08:54:25 AM »
Just two rehearsals before our first concert of the season on 10/15. We have a number of new songs and several 'solos' in the mix, in addition to new-to-us hula dancers, and a number of new players. I let the Maestro know he has his work cut out, but he didn't need me to tell him. We're both looking forward to this show; It has more variety and 'fun' stuff than we've tried to inject into one show before.

As always, our objective is to have fun, both on stage and in the audience, and to give folks an appreciation of the wide variety of music that can be played on the ukulele.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 10:11:29 AM by Tom »
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hunter41

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 06:04:54 PM »
Where are you located? We like Uku.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 06:35:37 PM »
Approx 80 miles NE of San Francisco, out on the California Delta.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2014, 07:43:35 PM »
Let me know if you'll be in/near our area; I have spare tickets.

If you're in your home state, I'll be there prior to Christmas, but not with the band. Hope to play with a local group there.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2014, 09:00:13 PM »
I'm proud, but almost embarrassed, to say that 3 of the numbers in our concert playlist are my own arrangements/re-arrangements, with some further tweaking by our Maestro.

One of the songs has become our signature Hawaiian song over the last few concerts. The other two, including a rock-and-roll medley, are new to this concert.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 02:48:51 AM by Tom »
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hunter41

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 06:25:33 AM »
Let me know if you'll be in/near our area; I have spare tickets.

If you're in your home state, I'll be there prior to Christmas, but not with the band. Hope to play with a local group there.

we are headed to Oceanside for the winter, hope to join group there, Uku Society of America in Carlsbad on Thur nite. Hope they are still meeting and hope to find lessons in the area.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2014, 07:18:28 AM »
It's always fun to join a local club like that. A few years ago we were in Indio, and I was able to play with 3 local ukulele groups. In that area they're so used to many snowbirds that the clubs are used to seeing attendance swell during the winter months.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2014, 07:51:35 PM »
We have 43 players committed to performing at our 10/15 Delta Strummers ukulele concert. I'm currently putting together the seating plan (for players), and we have a final rehearsal on 10/14. With the Maestro buried in stuff, I took the liberty of updating lead sheets for a number of songs; Many of the changes had been made on the fly at various practices, and some folks weren't around to take notes.

We'll be playing stuff I never imagined could be played on a uke, including a blues number, a Mexican number, a solo of 'Apache', and several 'thumb strumming' numbers. This stuff makes my rock and roll medley look really easy to play  :(
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2014, 08:08:06 PM »
Very exciting.  Will someone be recording your performance?
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2014, 08:15:05 PM »
Hopefully, we'll get a recording. However, the last time we tried to do that at this venue, some guy in the audience was attempting to clap his hands to his version of the beat right in front of a microphone. So, all we heard on the recording was his loud claps  :(
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 08:21:06 PM by Tom »
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2014, 08:18:55 PM »
Photographer's often have guest "wranglers".  Maybe an audience wrangler would be a good idea. 
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

MN Blue Skies

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2014, 08:20:29 PM »
Is there a local technical college that might be interested in recording a session? 
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2014, 08:23:44 PM »
What's a wrangler in this context?

Wish I'd thought of the tech college idea; There's not a 'local' one, but there's one or more within driving distance.

I once jokingly told the Maestro's wife that we'd put her on a tall step ladder with a video camera  ;D
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 09:48:46 AM »
Last evening, 43 Delta Strummers entertained the audience at our first concert of the Fall/Winter season. We could have done with a few more rehearsals, and the band included a number of 'recent graduates' from our Beginner Ukulele Class, but the feedback was that this was one of our best shows.

The program included several new-to-us genres, and we'd told folks to expect to hear music you wouldn't expect from a ukulele. I smiled as I watched the reactions of some long-time musicians in the audience.

We're still very much an amateur group who enjoy playing together and entertaining audiences. Our next few performances are at local assisted-living communities.

The attached pic was taken during warm-up. A couple of empty chairs in the front row; Someone was busy organizing the hula dancers, and yours truly was behind the camera. Wish I'd planned the shot  :(

Sorry, we didn't get a recording, but we'll probably hire a local pro videographer for one of our shows in the Spring.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 12:26:57 PM by Tom »
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2014, 10:40:52 AM »
Impressive group.  Looks like fun.
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2014, 10:51:46 AM »
Aye, we have a lot of fun. Many (most) are retired and would quit if this stopped being fun. One of the ongoing challenges is maintaining/improving playing ability and expanding our repertoire while lots of folks are traveling. We have a number of RVers among our ranks

It still blows my mind to think that, when I joined just 3 years ago, we were 9 players. We currently have 60 members on our roster.

Time to work on a few rough edges I heard last evening, and a few personal challenges I caught in my own performance.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:40:19 AM by Tom »
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Re: New uke season
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2014, 12:51:10 AM »
26 Delta Strummers performed at an assisted living facility today. The audience had a good time, and were eitther singing along or tapping their feet.

We now move into the Christmas  season performances, and began practicing  last Tuesday. One of my favorites is Beautuful City, a New Christy Minstrels number.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 08:03:09 AM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2014, 08:06:11 PM »
For the uke inclined, here's the Fall issue of the Delta Strummers newsletter published yesterday (pdf format); It contains a few interesting uke-related articles by a couple of good uke players.

Now I need to get our lead guitarist-turned-uke-player to write something.
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Tom

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Re: New uke season
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2014, 11:12:43 AM »
Ho, ho, ho. Our Christmas season practice list was emailed to band members a couple of days ago, and this evening we get into serious practice for Christmas concerts and singalongs. I can't wait to hear what our guitarist-turned-uke-player will play; He never fails to amaze me.

Too bad I'll be out of town and will miss these performances. The events are all set up, (and) I'll stay in touch with the event organizers at each venue from a distance.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 06:53:22 PM by Tom »
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