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Ukulele Reports
Updates on ukulele classes and events around the world.

Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Auckland, New Zealand
Lansing, MI, U. S. A.

Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Upbeat!: The 2009 Langley Ukulele Workshop
By James Hill

Delegates at the 2009 Langley Ukulele Workshop.

Over 80 ukulele teachers, music specialists and ukulele enthusiasts learned, laughed, sang and jammed the day away at the Langley Ukulele Workshop on September 26, 2009. The workshop, a chance to take classes with some of Canada's top ukulele teachers and players, was sold-out a month in advance. Jamie Thomas worked with beginning players throughout the day while Chalmers Doane, James Hill and Peter Luongo rotated through two higher levels of break-out skill sessions.

Delegates at the 2009 Langley Ukulele Workshop.

Following a brief introduction which helped delegates to decide which level (1, 2, or 3) would be best for them, everyone headed to their first 75-minute workshop session. Then a 15-minute breather followed by another 75-minute session. Then lunch and a chance to chat with friends, meet new people, practise, and browse the vendor tables. After lunch was a fun and informative general session followed by the third and final skill session. At 3:35pm the special sessions began: percussion with Jamie, double bass with Chalmers, arranging with Peter, jazz uke with James, acoustics with Gordon and Char. How to choose just one? Finally, a second general session and a big jam to finish up. Whew! What a day!

Delegates were asked to share their feedback about the day. Here are some of their comments:

LUW 2009 staff (l to r): Peter Luongo, Jamie Thomas, James Hill, Chalmers Doane.

"Excellent instruction, I feel like I have lots to practice and have some direction to do so."

"Well organized; VERY helpful."

"I am awed by the contribution [the clinicians] are making to ukulele playing in the world, and touched that they worked so earnestly to help someone like me learn something."

"All of the teachers were truly excellent - guys who had fabulous musical talent and knowledge combined with a sweet down to earth servant mentality - really wanting to help others become better ukulele players and better teachers."

"I learned so much... most importantly I came away with an understanding of what I can now do to advance my playing skills."

"It was fun! I could move along at my own pace and didn't feel too much pressure when I was saturated."

"Outstanding instruction. It was fun and I felt very welcomed. Refreshments were varied and delicious!"

Many thanks to all who made the day such a success. The support of our main sponsors Empire Music and Mya-Moe Ukuleles made the event possible. Registration for Double Time: The 2010 Langley Ukulele Workshop opens in February 2010.

Link: Double Time: The 2010 Langley Ukulele Workshop

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Auckland, New Zealand

BNZ Ukulele Festival
By Mary Cornish

Just thought I'd update you with info on what is happening down here in NZ . I am school music teacher, and work with the NZ Ukulele Festival Trust. Ukuleles in Schools, run by the New Zealand Ukulele Festival Trust, has grown exponentially in the past three years. Last year we had to run our annual festival at sports arena and we are back there again this November for an even bigger event.

Our festival features our Kiwileles, a massed ukulele orchestra who now number over 1300 children! We have a major sponsor on board, the Bank of New Zealand, so our festival is called the BNZ Ukulele Festival 2009 and is to be held at Mt Smart Stadium on November 21st. It is an all-day event. There will be a songwriting competition, non-stop ukulele music on two stages from local and overseas acts, an open mic session, stalls, workshops, and demonstrations. More information about ukulele in schools and this years festival can be found at the festival website: www.bnz.co.nz/ukefest.

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Lansing, MI, U.S.A.

L. A. U. G. H.
By Ben Hassenger

We are just starting our ukulele group L.A.U.G.H. - the Lansing Area Ukulele Group, our first meeting is September 19, 2009. I became interested in the uke when I was in Hawaii a couple of months ago, I attended the Ukulele Festival in Honolulu, saw the Langley Ukulele Ensemble along with other and was hooked on the idea of putting together a group here in Mid-Michigan.

I had a nice talk with Peter Luongo (who is totally nuts - in a good way), came back home and talked to my friends at Elderly Instruments, who are helping to get the word out and are letting me use their large lesson room for the meetings. We have a Facebook page at: http://tinyurl.com/lansingukesfacebook

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Do you teach a ukulele group? Are you a student in a ukulele class? If so, send us an update on your activities: what you've learned recently and what you're learning now. Make sure to include your name and location.

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