An annoying preface: Mark and Jane in Potential Disarray

We'd love your support and understanding whilst we undertake some major life changes. The main one is that we are moving house. Yes, people do that very frequently, but it's not everyday that you dismantle and move out of a home full of 60 years of occupation. For the last 7 years we've lived in the house that Mark grew up in. It is being sold and we'll shortly move to a salubrious architect designed house-sitting gig for three months up at Port Stephens. Amidst this we are, like many of our peers, having to help our aged parents with various health issues. Expect to see:
  • Possible tiredness.
  • Short spurts of grumpiness.
  • Occasional spells of distractedness.
  • The sale of some musical instruments.
  • Irrational requests for advice or assistance.
  • More of John.
Right. On with the music (and life).

C o n t e n t s - April 2022

  1. The Indispensible TSOTP Music-Making Diary
  2. The One Song Sing returns
  3. A Newkestra on Wednesday nights
  4. The Easter break (and a bit of ANZAC and Tomaree abeyance)
  5. Beginners Ukulele Workshop
  6. Improvising on the Zookulele
  7. Government money
  8. Central Coast Ukulele Festival
  9. Melbourne Ukulele Festival Ukastle Ukestra performance videos
  10. Newkulele Festival
  11. Price rise
  12. Keep your distance

1. D I A R Y

  • Wednesday 13 April - Friday 29 April - NO CHOIRS
  • 14-18 April - Ukestral Voices are singing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra
  • Thursday 14 - Monday 18 April - NO UKESTRAS
  • Tuesday 19 April - Lakemac Ukestra continues on as normal
  • 24 & 25 April - No Sunday or Monday Ukestras
  • Weekend 22-24 April - Mark and Jane teach at Turramurra Folk Music Camp in Victoria
  • Wednesday 4 May - New Ukestra commences at Wil&Sons
  • Weekend 13-15 May - Central Coast Ukulele Festival in Wangi Wang
  • Sunday 19 June - One Song Sing returns! 
  • June - August - Online Improvisation Course
  • Weekend 9 - 11 September - Newkulele Festival

2. One Song Sing is back!!!

Word on the streets of Lake Macquarie is that there is a One Song Sing
coming up on Sunday afternoon 19 June. This will be a free event announced in the near future. 

Join the Facebook group to keep up with the latest on the inside. 

Wil&Sons3. A New Wednesday night ukestra

If you wanted a new ukestra, with other newbies, then there is a baby ukestra starting up on Wednesday nights at Wil&Sons on Darby St. If you like your ukestras new, shiny, small, and intimate and where time is taken to teach a bit more technique, then set your clock to Wednesday 4 May. And May the Forth be with you for your new ukulele journey. Get in on the ground floor, and help shape the building of a new community. Email us for more info.

4. The Easter Break and Tomaree

No ukestras will be held over the Easter Weekend (from 14 - 18 April - Thursday to Monday inclusive)

Maundy Thursday Ukestra (14 April) is not on either (That is repeating the message, but Thursday nighters tend not to clearly hear messages the first time).

Over the ANZAC weekend we are not having ukestras on Sunday 24 April or Monday 25 April.

Ukestral Voices Choir has a wee break

Choir is on a break to sing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. We resume on Wednesday night 4 May, although Friday 20 May is off to celebrate Jane's Mother's big birthday.

abandoned ukesTomaree Ukestra is in Abeyance*

The Fingal Bay Bowlo is about to undergo major renovations, and whilst they are keen to accommodate us, we've decided that we'll have an extended period off from Tomaree Ukestra for all of Easter, ANZAC and May.

Tomaree Ukestra is not on Easter Monday or ANZAC Day. And then the renovations start on 2 May (so no ukestra), and Probus take up the available space on 9 May. We've decided that we'll just take the rest of May off to clean up the garage at home, and try to keep some life balance during our tribulations (see the preface above).

Of course, most people who are concerned with this are already on the relevant weekly email list for Mark's Monday morning session. Are you on your local weekly list? 
* a state of temporary disuse or suspension.

5. Beginners Ukulele Workshop

Mark stuffed up the booking for the next Beginners Workshop (inside word - he forgot the Mother in Law's 80th birthday party). We'll schedule the next one very soon (although probably late May) and you will find out if you register at this spot right here.

6. Improvising on the Ukulele

It's that time of year, where we are starting to be indoors and are making our Zoomie plans. And so we return to teaching the willing about Improvisation on the Ukulele. It's all about the when, what, and how of improvising, all in the privacy of your own bedroom/study/zoom room. 

Register your interest in improving your improvisation skills here.

We expect to start in June.

7. Vouchers - Discovery and Parent

The Government is still handing out COVID money, with another round of Discovery vouchers (1 per person), and more recently a big wad of 'guilt' money to recompense parents for having their kids at home during the lockdowns.  Go out and treat yourself with ukestras or choirs because we can take that money from you! Scan your life away with Mark, Jane or John.

8. Central Coast Ukulele Festival

A bunch of people have registered to perform with the Ukastle Ukestra at the Central Coast Ukulele Festival on Sunday 15 May. We have scheduled rehearsals and repertoire. Find out more here and join us! in beautiful downtown Wangi Wangi.

9. Melbourne Ukulele Festival 

We can't tell you how much fun performing at a festival is, because it's not just about the performance, or the festival - it's all of it, but probably mostly the sense of camaraderie that comes with planning, rehearsing, travelling and performing together.

We had a blast in Melbourne. If you click the photo you'll find the video evidence of a great performance.

10. Applications are open for the Newkulele Festival - 9-11 September 2022

We are still plotting, but if you have a group (or yourself) that wishes to perform at the Newkulele Festival, best you get your skates on and ...


11. Price rise

It's been two years (just before COVID) since we've had a price rise, and our accountant has given us a swift kick.

Commencing 1 May 2022 the following prices will apply:
  • Uketen $155. This equates to $15.50 per session (choir or ukestra). As in the past, we ask that your uketen is used within a year.
  • Casual attendance and payment on the day is $20.
Attendances on existing uketens ($145) will continue to be deducted at $14.50 until 30 October at which point any outstanding balances will have attendances deducted at the new rate of $15.50.

12. COVID update

Have you heard? The flu is going around. Unless you are not vaccinated, and then it could be a life threatening dose of COVID for you. Please remember to keep your respectful distance when unmasked and socialising.

And did you hear the apocryphal tale of the local ukulele group where at least 15 of the 20 sharing the one microphone got infected? True! And it weren't us, we are still sanitising and using personalised microphones. Touch wood.

From what we've heard, the worst dose of a vaccinated COVID infection has involved a day or two in bed.
If you do catch it, we hope it is in a time that is convenient to you!
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