Reviews from BUMS members attending the Lord Mayors Senior Cabaret program

The Lord Mayor’s Seniors Cabaret program runs every year and encourages older people to ‘strut their stuff’ on stage. In 2021, the events had a theme of a “Night at the Oscars”, so participants were asked to perform songs that had won or been nominated for an Oscar.

Many BUMS members participated in the program. If you haven’t heard of the program before, it’s free and has three parts.

Part 1 Masterclasses

These three-hour workshops are run by well-known stage and theatrical performers. Some workshops are based on groups – such as dancing and choirs – whereas most are focused on individual or small group performances. You need a ticket to participate but anyone can go along and watch.

Part 2 Showcases

Chosen performers or groups from the Masterclasses are invited to perform at these 75 minute long shows.  Anyone can go along and watch for free.

Part 3 Gala Show

The final event is the Lord Mayor’s Seniors Gala Concert. This year it is on Sunday 24 October at Brisbane City Hall. It features celebrity guests (including Karen Knowles, Simon Gleeson and BUMS member, Erin Harrington) and many of Brisbane’s most talented seniors from the Showcase events.

Tickets are on sale now via the Oztix website or phone 1300 762 545. Tickets are $5 each with proceeds being donated to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust.

MASTERCLASSES

Many BUMS members attended these workshops and provided feedback including Adrianne Fitzpatrick, Charmaine Matthews, Daphne Bradshaw, Terry Halton, Denise Frost, Mick Angeles and Spare Parts (Diane Davis, Len Farina, Peter Grace and David Smith).

There were 11 workshops in 2021 run in venues as far flung as Zillmere, Sandgate, Hamilton, Kedron, Seven Hills, Wynnum, Moorooka, Sunnybank and near Brisbane CBD.

The individual Masterclasses were a bit like auditions where a performer or performers would present their piece and then receive feedback and coaching from the workshop leader.

Here’s some detail of the masterclasses from the viewpoint of those who participated.

Learn what’s happening technically when you sing – Daniel Robinson
Charmaine Matthews reported there were eleven acts at the Wynnum workshop with performers using either a backing track or piano, guitar or ukulele accompaniment.

Although Daphne Bradshaw and I didn’t perform an Oscar song, we still received positive feedback from Daniel. He recommended we place our mics at a different angle to easily see each other during the performance.

Charmaine Matthews: The Masterclass was a worthwhile experience, one that I would recommend to everyone. It was interesting to see other performances and hear the recommendations provided by our mentor Daniel Robinson.

Less is more – improve your performance by doing less – Gregory Moore
Len Farina reported that Gregory’s workshop was run on a normal master class basis. The performers sang and played in front of all the participants. The mentor gave feedback and invited the performer to repeat a part of the performance to try out the suggested changes.

Gregory’s had a motto – less is more – implying that it is riskier to make performances too complicated. Simplicity is often better.

There were 14 performers at this workshop. Most were soloists singing with a backing track. There was also a male/female duet, a barber’s shop quartet (with five singers) and an excellent four-piece female group. Spare Parts, a four-piece ukulele band, were the only act playing instruments. We performed Shallow (A Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper song from A Star is Born 2018).

Len Farina. Sitting through all the solo singers got a bit tedious but Gregory’s feedback after each performance was really good. Often what he said applied more generally and was relevant to all of us.

One of Gregory’s recommendations was to hold your pose at the end of a song until the applause starts. Many of the performers relaxed as soon as their song ended (phew thank goodness that’s over!) and the magic from their performance evaporated.

Spare Parts in action.

Ukulele and voice – learn new songs as a group – Erin Harrington
BUMS member Erin Harrington presented a ukulele workshop which many BUMS members attended.

This is the first year that Erin had been invited to lead a workshop and she admits she was unsure what the program director wanted. It was initially planned as a master class, but the demand was so high, there was not enough time to accommodate everyone in a three-hour workshop.

Adrianne Fitzpatrick reported that about 30 uke players attended the workshop ranging from beginners to experienced players. Erin ran through some introductory ukulele skills and introduced three songs including an arrangement of Eye of the Tiger (from Rocky III, 1982). It featured a stamp/strum riff which was really good but difficult for a whole room of players to coordinate.

Adrianne Fitzpatrick: The day was a lot of fun. I love any chance to play the uke with others! Just as much fun was some spontaneous playing and singing during the break!

Unfortunately, time was against us and COVID restrictions prevented us making any progress on getting a group together to perform at a showcase concert. The program director also realised that a large band could not easily be accommodated on the performance stages. The workshop is expected to be on again next year with an improved format developed from its first outing.

Lots of BUMS at Ukulele and voice – learn new songs as a group masterclass. image: Erin Harrington.

For anyone new to singing – Rhonda Davidson-Irwin
Daphne Bradshaw reported on this individual singing Masterclass. The workshop started with breathing techniques, reaching highs and lows without running out of breath. These good vocal exercises made learning a lot of fun.

Her performance piece was Goody Goody a 1936 song and she got very positive feedback. Rhonda felt it was a good song for her voice, she had good stage presence and would make a good jazz singer. How’s that for confidence boosting?

Daphne Bradshaw: It certainly has been an awesome experience, and I would definitely recommend entering into it next year.

Learn new songs as a group – Gregory Moore

Denise Frost: I’m a choir novice and was looking forward to a novel, interesting experience at this Masterclass. I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

The 30 participants learnt Lullaby of Broadway and Moon River, working up to three-part harmony. It was surprising how easily the group worked with Greg and how quickly they picked up the harmony. Denise realised that the group had years of musical (and life) experience. In the hands of an expert musician like Greg, they could fly.

Adrianne Fitzpatrick: For anyone who loves to sing, but doesn’t feel confident going solo, the group singing workshop is a great option. Gregory Moore’s experience in choral conducting was immediately evident. He was lots of fun, enthusiastic and engaging.

Sadly, neither Denise or Adrianne could attend the later rehearsals or perform Moon River on stage. But next year!

Karen Knowles & Mick Angeles

Karen Knowles & Mick Angeles at Lord Mayors Senior Cabaret Masterclass

What to do on stage when you’re unsure what to do – Karen Knowles.

There were ten acts in this Masterclass. Some used backing tracks, some accompanied themselves (piano, guitar and ukulele) and some used an amazing pianist who could sight read anything.

Adrianne Fitzpatrick: Karen worked on vocal technique with some performers in a way that taught all of us. She was very encouraging throughout – even when nerves got the better of me and I totally flubbed my performance! – and I have vowed to try again next year.

Mick Angeles played ukulele and sang Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961). He also chose to perform Jean (from the Prime of Miss Jean Brody,1969) on piano. He’d never played the piano in public before, and his performance was on a massive grand piano on stage at the Old Museum Concert Hall. He says he didn’t know what to do with the clutch, brake and accelerator pedals. Karen said he played piano like a natural! What a debut.

Read more about Micks journey through the 2021 program – Always Learning.

Summary
Terry Halton went to three Masterclasses.

The classes were casual, fun, helpful and enjoyable. I encourage anyone interested in improving their Ukulele playing and presentation to attend future classes.

The Kedron-Wavell Showcase Choir with Diane Davis, Charmaine Matthews and Daphne Bradshaw

SHOWCASE CONCERTS

There were eight shows planned at venues all over Brisbane from Arana Hills, Sandgate, Kedron, Wynnum, Sherwood, Acacia Ridge, Sunnybank to the Brisbane Showgrounds.
WestsideHQ at Sherwood
Spare Parts played at this concert. We chose to perform Shallow and You Got a Friend in Me (from Toy Story 1997). Each of the eight acts performed two songs, and there was an audience of 50 or so (including the performers). Every performance is a challenge, and we were encouraged to perform without song sheets or music in front of us. We are better for the experience. By playing Shallow, we hoped to demonstrate that the ukulele can be more than what many audiences might imagine.
Kedron-Wavell Services Club
Diane Davis, Charmaine Matthews and Daphne Bradshaw were members of the choir that performed Lullaby of Broadway (Gold Diggers, 1935) and Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961) at this Showcase concert.
Arana Leagues Club
Mick Angeles was invited to play two songs at this Showcase and he chose Somewhere over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz, 1939) and Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961).

GALA SHOW

See BUMS own Mick Angeles and Erin Harrington in the Lord Mayor’s Senior Cabaret Gala: A Night at the Oscars. Mick has been invited to perform Somewhere over the Rainbow (the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version) at the Gala Concert on Sunday 24 October. Well done, mate!

With professional mentor, Erin Harrington also performing, there will be two BUMS on stage. Get your ticket and show your support as well as see a great show!

Tickets are on sale now via the Oztix website or phone 1300 762 545. Tickets are $5 each with proceeds being donated to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust.

‘Street-Smart’ Music Theory builds on a layman’s understanding of scales to build understanding of chord construction. This workshop will enlighten you to the mysteries of creating and identifying chords and chord diagrams. You will gain a knowledge of why chords are constructed in such a mathematical regimen.

The workshop provides easy to follow handouts to aid in the creation and identification of chord structuring.

The information provided will benefit beginners to intermediate musicians wanting to further their musicality by adding knowledge of constructing chords using the methodology of notes in major scales.

Participants will leave the workshop with a chord construction recipe. Although the workshop is ukulele-based, the information obtained can be used across a wide range of stringed instruments and keyboards.

If time permits, there will also be instruction on the Nashville Numbering System that eliminates the need for writing copies of song chords in different keys, using instead, a chord numbering system.

When you attend this workshop, bring along an inquisitive mind, a sense of humour and a pencil and notepad for any notes you’d like to take throughout the exercise.

TICKETS $20 at TRYBOOKING

Financial BUMS tickets $10 use promo-code received Mon 23 August via email. Tickets at Trybooking from Wed 25 August.
A ticketed COVID-Safe event.

Sat 4 Sep 2021

Zillmere Community Hall, 52 Murphy Road, Zillmere, Brisbane, QLD 4034

 2:00-3:00pm

 

Presenter Bio: Mick Angeles learnt music from the “College of Hard Knocks”. His ‘laid-back’, friendly nature makes learning easy. Mick puts a “layman’s” spin on music theory that demystifies scales, notes and chord construction. At his Music Theory Workshops at the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival, The Gympie Muster and Bony Mountain Folk Festival, music teachers applaud his simplification of the arduous rigidity of learning music theory.

These Big Uke Training sessions, which were originally scheduled for a single weekend, have now been split across two Sundays, for reasons of practicality (and COVID). Five sessions will be held on Sunday August 22, and another five on 26 September. The workshopS cater to a range of abilities and interests, including some for absolute beginners and others for seasoned performers.

Book early. Details at www.biguketraining.com.au

Presenters are from Australian, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States.

Sessions include:

Sunday 22 August Melbourne time
10:00 am – Amie Brulee (Arranging Songs to Make Them More Interesting)
11:30 am –  Kath Bee (Build Your Confidence and Learn a New Children’s Song)
1:00 pm – Duplicity (Brendan Canty & Sue Kidd) (Spice Up Your Strumming)
2:30 pm – Richard Snow (Chords, Scales and Changing Keys)
4:00 pm – Daniel Purnomo (Island Strum and Beyond)

Sunday 26 September Melbourne time
10:00 am – Jim D’Ville (Barre Chords: The Easiest Barre Chord Song You’ll Ever Learn)
11:30 am – Duplicity (Brendan Canty & Sue Kidd) (Introduction to the Blues)
1:00 pm – Bernard de la Couer (Songwriting)
2:30 pm – Gaelle Horsley (Working with Other Musicians: Why some Groups/Bands Fail … and how to avoid this!)
4:00 pm – Daniel Purnomo (Aloha from Singapore: Ukulele concert with singalong and jam at the end)

Visit the Big Uke Training website to find out workshop fees, and how to register and join the online sessions.

A 2-hour workshop for absolute beginners!

Ukulele in a Nutshell is designed specifically for absolute beginners. In classic ‘bootcamp’ style, you’ll cover a lot of territory in a relatively short amount of time.

You’ll learn the parts of the ukulele, tips for practice, finger dexterity, ear training, clues from sheet music, interpreting ukulele chord diagrams and songsheets, basic strumming and picking patterns, chord shapes for Am, Am7, C, C6, F, G, and G7, chord placement drills, common chord changes and progressions, 12 bar blues … and jam survival techniques.

The course is also designed to help you structure your own practice sessions.

EVENT

DATE: Friday 30 July 2021

VENUE: Coorparoo Bowls Club, 32 Riddings Street, Coorparoo, 4151
TIME: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

TICKETS $10

Get your tickets at https://www.trybooking.com/eventlist/bums

BUMS Financial Members save 50% with a promo-code. Check your email Wednesday 14 July.

Everyone else – tickets go on sale Saturday 17 July

Not a member? Join BUMS Inc now Membership Benefits

WHAT TO BRING

Bring your ukulele and tuner. No note taking required! You’ll be too busy anyway. Detailed notes with supporting resources are emailed to participants after the session.

PRESENTERS

Julie Sharpe, John & Keryn Henderson began running Ukulele Bootcamp sessions in 2015. This year’s condensed session, Ukulele in a Nutshell, offers absolute beginners all they need to know to get started.

The weekend was a wonderful experience. If you ever get the chance, and you are looking for something extra, I recommend you go to a concert or workshop by the Wild Women from Anywhere Beach.

Warning.

This review is biased because I am an unabashed fan of the Wild Women from Anywhere Beach. Cathy Welsford and Angie Smith are the wild women. They hale from Valla Beach near Bellingen in NSW (south of Coffs Harbour).

I attended one of their workshops in Blaxland (at the foot of the Blue Mountains) in 2019. I was immediately won over by their ukulele competency, their preparation work, and their friendly, happy style. They have a gift for teaching.

Some BUMS members had previously purchased tickets to go to their workshops at the Bellingen Arts Week 11-14 January 2021. Some of us even had our bags packed! It wasn’t to be. The Covid19 curse struck and we had to cancel. This is why we were blessed with a visit from Cathy and Angie. They hit the road and including us in a tour that also took in Yamba, Southport, Sandgate, Gympie, Toowoomba and Armidale.

Thanks to Salli Chmura for hosting the concert and workshops.

House concert

Salli offered the large, covered patio at her home in Albany Creek for Cathy and Angie to perform on Friday 30 April. It was an intimate and fun night in front of ten spectators suitably socially distanced. BUMS favourite Cath McCourt joined them on bass on many of the songs.

Angie and Cathy perform

Cathy played a range of ukes including a harp ukulele. Their repertoire included many well-known covers from Fats Waller, The Waifs, Dave Brubeck, Randy Newman, Tom Paxton and the Ventures. Their own compositions were quirky and thought provoking – the real Matilda (a song about the place of women in building Australia), and songs about domestic violence and how Australia got its name.

Angie and Cathy made a great team backing each other up, harmonising, having fun together when playing and introducing the songs.

Workshops

Cathy and Angie ran four workshops over the weekend of 1-2 May.

1. Playing Fingerstyle Ukulele

This featured:

  • right-hand techniques including arpeggios, patterns rhythmic and solo finger picking, picking and plucking together, more advanced strumming, and percussive techniques.
  • left-hand techniques including melody playing, chord melodies and chord enhancements like sus4 chords.
  • exercises using these techniques before putting them to practice with songs: “All of Me”, “My Island Home” and “Aloha Oe”.

2. Playing Up the Dusty End

This was about playing up the fretboard towards the sound hole (where it gets dusty, of course!).  It included:

  • chord inversions, chord shapes up the fretboard, and useful theory including triads and chord types e.g. Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented chords.
  • practice with the Duke Ellington song “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “Autumn Leaves”

Cath McCourt, Angie and Cathy

3. Playing Jazz Standards

We adventured into:

  • Jazz articulation and phrasing including dynamics, rhythm (swung or straight), strumming to complement the soloist, substituting jazz chords and common jazz progressions.
  • expressive techniques, including hammer on/pull offs, bending, vibrato, silence, muting and harmonics.
  • using these techniques in a song – the Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin”.

4. Fun workshop

The last workshop was much more informal. We just had fun. Some joined Cathy and Angie for “Moliendo Café”. Some of us from Ukulelia (aka Ukulele Orchestra of Greater Brisbane) played “La Paloma”, or at least half of it before it met a premature ending.

We worked through a medley of Queen songs, which gave me greater appreciation of Queen’s musicality. Cathy and Angie broke out into a song whenever one took their fancy. There was even some impromptu dancing (shock horror), lots of laughter and singing.

Summary

The Wild Women cater for the intermediate to advanced players. They do a LOT of preparation work, and it shows. Angie apparently spent many hours playing and listening to Queen to make sure they had the music subtleties just right. In front of an audience, they are generous, warm-hearted and lots of fun. Could you ask for anything more appropriate with a ukulele group?

 

Beginner’s start-up workshop

Join us for a workshop demonstrating all the exciting things that the ukulele has to offer.  It will be hosted by Miss Elm – a ukulele expert and endorsed Lanikai Artist.

SUNDAY 11th APRIL, 1:00PM (Brisbane Time AEST)

Topics covered:

Strumming
Learning Basic Ukulele Chords
Making your Uke into a percussive instrument
Fingerpicking

Finale

Miss Elm is a professional touring and recording artist. She will give a performance demonstrating of lots of cool things you can do with the ukulele!

Signing up

Join us online, become a Ukulele Rocker and tune in anywhere around the world for this free workshop!

Booking through Eventbrite

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/free-online-beginners-ukulele-rockers-workshop-tickets-144132232387

 

 

Introduction to Ukulele

If you’ve just bought your first ukulele, join Linda Gough and Paul Morris for this incredible 2-hour free session to kickstart your ukulele skills.

They’ll teach you basic chords and show you how to strum and sing along to songs that you know and love.

You must get a ticket so we can manage the numbers to meet the COVID-19 requirements. Click on the Trybooking link below to do that.

Date: Wednesday 3 February 2021

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Venue: The Grove Sports and Community Club, 20 Tramway St, Ferny Grove

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/bofut

Bring your ukulele and be ready to have fun!

Brought to you by Morris Brothers Music Store and Linda’s Uke’n Sing.

 

Looking for more?

Follow up with Linda’s Uke’n’Sing six-week Beginner Course.

Date:  Starts Tuesday 9 February 2021

Times: 1:00 – 2:00 pm or 5:45 – 6:45pm

Venue: Church of Christ Arana Hills, 2 Bringelly Street, Arana Hills

Cost: $120 for 6 weeks

Bookings: Ring Linda on 0431 391 888

 

Kick start 2021 with the VIP Ukulele Rockers Group!

Do you want to take your playing to a new level? The February Ukulele Rockers program is a fun and transforming journey for anyone wanting to build up their musical practice, feel inspired and experience what is truly possible. 

In this 3 month intensive online program, the ukulele is used as a gateway for finding your own unique path. You may experience healing, creative confidence, fun, joy, performance and so much more in the program. The program is tailored to the goals of each participant within the group.

Commencing February 2021. 

Limited spots available!  Inquire by emailing

Some of the Areas Covered

  • Strumming from beginner to advanced techniques (straight and swing styles, hand percussion, triplet and rhythm creation)
  • Reading tab and fingerpick scales from beginner to intermediate levels
  • Understanding the basics behind the music
  • Unlocking the keys to creating on the ukulele
  • Creative collaboration with group members
  • Learning how to riff
  • How to play along to your favourite songs
  • Singing and Playing
  • Chord knowledge, games and theory

Outcomes

You’ll walk away with more confidence to share and express yourself.  Expect a boost in your creativity.  Be prepared to be inspired, find a new perspective and new musicianship skills.  Make connections to like-minded individuals and gain a better understanding of your own authentic style. 

 

Erin Harrington is running three Ukulele Rockers workshops in early December.

Free Online Beginner Workshop

Sunday 6th December, 10:00 am AEST
This is for complete beginners.  It’s a great opportunity to jump back in to uke playing or bring along a friend to convert to our friendly instrument!
For more details and to register click here.

Free Online Intermediate Workshop

Sunday 6th December 1:00 pm, AEST
This is for those rockers who have attended a beginner class before and would like to build up their skills!
For more details and to register click.

The “Pour and Play” Xmas Ukulele Rocker Workshop

Thursday, 3rd December, 6:30 pm at Jumping Goats Bar, (Margate).

This is for beginners but with a Christmas theme.  This event was SOLD out very quickly last time. So if you are in Brisbane this will be a really fun one to attend.

Ticket includes:
– Drink on arrival (choose from craft beer, boutique wine, or soft drink)
– Cheese platter
– Workshop book complete with Christmas tunes to take home!
**UKULELE not supplied (there will be a few you can borrow)
Amazing deal! To book click here:

Always wanted to know more about music?

Experienced ukulele teacher and Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association (AUTLA) member, Cathy Welsford, issued this October Uke Challenge!

James Hill Ukulele Course Level 1: Units 1, 2 & 3 (ONLINE via ZOOM)

Dates: Five week course – 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 October 2020
Time: 10:30 am -12:30 pm
Cost: $125
Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BLGVC

In Cathy’s ZOOM course you will:

  • learn to read music
  • play simple melodies on your ukulele
  • play music in parts
  • find out about note values, rhythm, timing in music
  • identify intervals and learn how to use them to play by ear
  • play basic scales including the blues scale
  • develop improvisation skills.

The course is based on the James Hill ‘Ukulele in the Classroom’ resource. You will also receive comprehensive additional material including music theory worksheets, new repertoire, picking and strumming exercises, audio resources and self-assessments.

For more information go to https://www.thewildwomenofanywherebeach.net/ OR contact Cathy by emailing .