Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in the South

Ukuleles in the Audience at Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's Performance

Ukuleles in the Audience at Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s Performance

Hard to believe but the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performed close enough to my home that I could attend.  And play along with them. And get to meet them in person.

I’ve been a fan of the UOGB for a while posting and following, watching their videos, buying their music for the past three years.

What they have done to raise consciousness of the ukulele in Europe is phenomenal.  I would hope they could do the same for the ukulele in the  south and east in United States.

UOGB returns for encore

UOGB returns for encore

The concert was great.  They played a range of music from Lady Gaga to Limehouse blues.

When Will pulled out a tiny ukulele that George called a “fridge magnet” I was intrigued.  What was it?  No identifying logo on the headstock (I checked through binocs).  It was smaller than Kala’s pocket uke and half the size of Ohana’s sopranino.  George said someone gave it to them when they were on tour in Germany.

You cannot beat the experience of being part of the live concert.  The UOGB’s antics and rapport with each other and the audience — so much more enjoyable.  The members of the UOGB are truly schooled in showmanship or “showwomanship.”   Hester was in fine form – witty comments during the show and personable after the show. Apparently Kitty did not make the trip. Several of us missed her as we’d love to have met her.

Their CDs and whatever else they might have sold did not make it past American customs. Such a shame because I’d think selling could indeed help defray expenses.

I was thrilled to be able meet the members of the orchestra and took one of my handcrafted cigarbox ukuleles to play and be signed.  I hoped to meet other ukulele players at the event, too.  But earnest ongoing ukulele players are rarer in these parts of the country.  I did meet a few from the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society.  They’re getting ready for their Tampa Bay Getaway weekend in November.

There were a few people who brought their ukuleles to the concert.  We were going to play “Relentlessly in C” with the UOGB.

While I dreamed of having great numbers of people show up with their ukes and a beautiful sound of hundreds of ukuleles playing at once, I was happy to be there among 30 or so people who brought their ukuleles.

The ukulele surge has just not swept over the eastern or southern states like it has in Oregon and California.  I wonder if the UOGB noticed that on their tour.  Where are the Julia Nunes of college these days?

After the show, the members of the group were available for signings and photos.  While I am sure they must have been tired, they really were personable and patient with everyone.  George had commented in the show earlier how they are amazed how people want to stay and talk for hours about ukuleles after some shows.

We didn’t stay for hours.  Long enough to chat and get signatures.  They gave us a good three hour concert.  What a real treat it was to be hear and meet them!

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4 Responses to Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in the South

  1. phredd says:

    I went to see them last Thursday, October 18th at little Bucknell University in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania and had the same experience. They were delightful on and off stage. This was the day after the Carnegie Hall Show and they were weary, but still gave it their all.

  2. Yesterukes says:

    I know I’m months and months after the fact—but where in the South did they play? I’m going to be so sad if it was anywhere near me.

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