Tag Archives: ukulele
Everyone worked really hard in the months leading up to the gig, to ensure that we acquitted ourselves well, and it seems to have paid off. The audience seemed very happy – clapping and singing along and generally being fabulously supportive (of course, many of them were related to choir members, but they didn’t have to be nice to us… ).
We had a ball, as we always do when Lipstick & Spurs performs. I mean, who would have thought that we – most of us in our 40s, and many of us relative beginners – would get a chance to sing our hearts out for a crowd of 400+, with two of our favourite artists (Sally Dastey and Trish Anderson)?
I seriously cannot think of anything I’d rather do. Singing is such a positive thing to do at the best of times, but with 20 or so of your mates, and surrounded by family and friends, it is pure joy. I wish I could do it every day (although we’d need a bigger repertoire than we have at the moment)!
Both Sally and Trish Anderson were amazing – teaching us their songs, encouraging us and just generally having fun. On the night, each of them performed a couple of their own songs as well as singing with the choir.
Apart from the choir’s performances (alone and with both Trish and Sally), there were ensemble performances from our choir master, Jenny Taylor and accompanist, Laura McDonald; choir member Louise Taunt (below),
And the Rusty Springs – a country-inspired ukulele quartet – debuted (that’s me in black at the front)!
The four of us met at MUK (the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective) almost three years ago, and all joined the choir together a year and a half, or so, ago.On one song – Ring of Fire – we were lucky enough to be accompanied by three of our friends from L&S on kazoo. Jenny (front), Ingrid (middle) and Linda (back) are now affectionately known as the Hornbags (below)!
What a fantastic experience! I could go on for hours about how supportive everyone was for our first performance as a quartet, but I don’t want to bang on any more here. I think that is worthy of a post all on its own!
Don’t forget to let me know if you managed to catch the show on Saturday night. I’d love to hear your comments.
Meg and I walked to All Nations Park in Northcote this morning, taking advantage of the pseudo long-weekend afforded by Melbourne Cup Day tomorrow, and came across this tree. I almost felt like we should excavate to see if the rest of the tree man was buried below ground!
It was a beautiful morning for a walk – sunny and fine, and with enough cloud to make the sky really interesting. We took the dogs with us – it is the longest walk Cher has had since hurting her knee in August, and she is a bit sore now, but they really enjoyed it.
We even came across a duck nesting at the edge of the lake. At least, we assumed she was nesting, although we could only see her head protruding from the rushes. She didn’t move from her spot, and was none too happy about having the dogs nearby, so it seems a safe bet. Meg and I plan to go back every day or so for the next couple of weeks in the hope of seeing the ducklings.
The afternoon was spent playing the ukulele and Christmas shopping online. Fifteen down – only about forty to go!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a member of the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, and play in the Ukulele Big Band.
I first fell in love with the ukulele two years ago, when I saw MUK perform as part of the Darebin Music Feast. I’d never played one before – or even entertained the thought that I would – but by the end of that gig, three audience members including myself were converted. I went out the next day and bought my first uke.
We now have three ukuleles as a family – well, I’m the only one who plays them, but the baritone is officially Michael’s. Meg had one, too – in baby pink – but I was really kidding myself when I bought it for her. It had been untouched for almost a year when my ten-year-old niece, Jacqui, over from Adelaide for a visit, picked it up and started playing.
Unbeknown to us, Jacqui had been learning classical guitar for a year. It only took her about three seconds to work out where the notes were and she started picking a blues number. Needless to say, I sent it home with her. If Meg ever wants one again, I’ll happily buy her another.
The other musical activity I’m involved in is singing in a country & western choir called Lipstick and Spurs. I’d no more been a fan of country music than I had of ukuleles when I was asked to add my voice for a recording session that the choir was doing, but again I fell completely in love and have been part of it for a year now. It is the best fun, and the choir members are a fantastic bunch.
I’m a latecomer to music performance, having only realised that I had a ‘voice’ when I was in my twenties. Singing only became really important to me after I lost my voice for eight months, about four years ago. More than anything, I missed singing with Meg and singing along with the radio, though if you’d asked me before I lost my voice, I would have said that I didn’t sing much at all. A persistent weakness has meant that the first thing affected by any stress or illness is my voice, so I have to be really careful with it.
Fortunately for me, singing has also been the best exercise I can give my vocal chords. I bet there aren’t many people who can say that they sing on doctor’s orders (or, at least, on speech pathologist’s orders)!
I may have been a late bloomer in this area, but it has become a really important part of who I am, and it is all so much fun! And life is serious enough – ukuleles, twangy country songs and lots of laughter are a good remedy for it.
About a month ago I was lucky enough to be part of something really fantastic. Before I tell you what it was, I have to give you a bit of background or it won’t really make sense. I play in the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective’s Ukulele Big Band. Daggy, I know, but fantastic fun and life is far too serious not to have fun when you can.
About six weeks earlier we had been contacted by a young man who wanted to book us for a gig. That gig took place on a Wednesday night – rehearsal night – and involved the band playing while he proposed to his girlfriend.
With twenty or so ukes playing “From little things, big things grow”, this young man got down on one knee and asked his girlfriend if she would marry him. Do you have any idea how hard it is to play and sing when you can’t stop your eyes from leaking? I know I’m a softy, but it was seriously one of the sweetest things I’d ever seen.
Long live romance! (I was too busy to take a pic on the night, but the next day I saw these tulips and they seemed like a fitting tribute.)
The corollary to this story is, I believe, that they won a holiday to Hawaii in a radio station competition, because of the fantastic proposal! And what better place than Hawaii for a honeymoon when the proposal was accompanied by ukuleles?!