What a year its been!

How have we done? What can be improved? Find out at the 2020 BUMS Inc Annual General Meeting.

Here’s your opportunity to contribute, and keep our society going strong. Find out what our society has achieved with you, and for you, in these challenging last 18 months. Take part and have your say in the direction of our society – fresh ideas are welcome!

Due to social distancing and contact tracing requirements, it will come as no surprise that the AGM will be a little different this year. It will be straight to business!

Sunday 22 November 2020
Coorparoo Bowls Club- 32 Ridings Road, Coorparoo (upstairs)
Meeting to commence at 2.00pm sharp.

You MUST book to attend the AGM this year. Book your free ticket by 5 pm Saturday 15 November via Trybooking www.trybooking.com/BMFSP. Choose your ticket below (limit 2) and complete the booking on the Trybooking website.

To attend the meeting, you must be a financial member of BUMS Inc. Lapsed members and Extraordinary Associate Members check out special deal on 2020-2012 membership for just $25 Early Membership Renewal 2021
So make sure you’re financial; Book your ticket to the AGM, and add Sunday 22 November to your calendar now.

All Management Committee positions are declared vacant, and nominations are always welcome. Please consider volunteering for the committee. It’s a great way to give back to your community, and bring fresh ideas to our Society. Committee positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Media Manager, Properties Manager, IT Officer, Event Manager, Gigmeister and Festival Director.

Download a description of all positions BUMSInc_RolesandResponsibilities-2020.pdf
Download the nomination form for committee positions. BUMSInc_NominationForm_2020.pdf

Send nominations to our secretary by 8 November 2020. For more information on this, or any management committee role, contact Judy at

Would you like to improve your ability to play ukulele and sing solo and with others?

Come jam with us …

BUMS is planning a jam leaders course designed to build performance confidence.  The aim of the program is to develop your skills so you can create and lead a set at a jam.  Playing at jams is a great stepping-stone to performing at a wider range of events.

The proposed program would run over 12 weeks  and require fortnightly attendance at six weekend workshops. You will be expected to complete practical and theoretical ‘homework’ between workshops. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with others to plan and lead a set.


The workshops will cover:

  • planning a set for a jam,
  • formatting songsheets using the BUMS standard format
  • basic singing skills
  • playing ukulele for jams
  • setting up and using PA equipment
  • lots of practice in playing in front of a small crowd.

Call for Expressions of Interest

BUMS is seeking expressions of interest from members who would like to join the program.  If we have enough interest, we can move to develop the program further.

We are also seeking expressions of interest from members with performance experience who are willing to present segments or mentor the participants during the twelve-week period.

If you are interested, please email your contact details and suburb to Peter Grace at by Sunday 6 September 2020.

Launching The Ukulele Rockers Online School!

Ukulele teacher and BUMS Inc performing member, Erin Harrington (AKA Miss Elm) recently launched The Ukulele Rockers Online School designed to help you use ukulele to unleash your creative superpowers.

To celebrate the launch, Erin is offering all BUMS Inc newsletter subscribers 20% off her two new courses:

  • “Becoming a Ukulele Rocker” for beginners (tuning your uke, 4 different strumming styles, playing basic scales, basic fingerpicking, playing basic chords and chord progressions)
  • Hit the Ground Rocking” to help intermediate for players to advance their ukulele skills (moving past the 3rd fret, changing chord positions easily, intermediate fingerpicking scales and drills, advancing your strumming, creating rhythmic sounds).

There are a limited number of discount coupons available, and the Coupon Code “BUMS” will only be valid until 30 October 2020.

So get in quick!

Visit the The Ukulele Rockers website to join the course. (https://theukulelerockerscourse.teachable.com/)

Type “BUMS” in the payment section. Then click on the ‘coupon’ button when you register to buy a course.

Become Part of The Club

An extension for all ukulele players wanting accountability, personalized guidance and inclusion in Erin’s VIP group.

If you want to learn how to become a member of Erin’s Ukulele Rockers Club Online, email for a discovery call.

Follow us here: https://www.facebook.com/theukulelerockers

This month we shine a spotlight on incredible ukulele group of very enthusiastic seniors. They’ve come from very humble musical beginnings to become polished performers.

Compton Happy Ukulele Musical Seniors (CHUMS)

CHUMS was started in 2014 by Donna Farrell with help from her husband Derek and their good friend Keryn Henderson.

CHUMS members are residents or friends of residents at Compton Gardens Retirement Village, which is located at Aspley, just behind the Hypermarket.

The original members of CHUMS were all residents and had never played a ukulele before; indeed, most had never played a musical instrument of any kind.

A charitable affair

Since almost the very beginning, the band – now twenty strong – have played concerts at other retirement villages, care homes, churches and clubs. CHUMS charge for their concerts and donate the proceeds to Dementia Research. So far, the group has donated over $6,000.

As the name suggests, the band consists mostly of mature age members, many in their eighties and some in their nineties. They meet each week for two hours to practise and usually learn a new song each time. Their repertoire is now some 200 songs.

Concert time, June 2017

From humble beginnings to polished performances

The band performed twice at SPRUKE, and they perform a themed concert in June each year at the Compton Village auditorium.

Concert themes include Hawaiian, Australiana, Old Music Hall Sing-along, Way Out West, Show Tunes and Movie Themes.

CHUMS Hawaiian theme, June 2018

The June concerts attract up to 150 people in the audience. CHUMS also perform a Christmas concert at the Village each year.

Harmony Day Concert, March 2018

For the first few concerts, Paul Morris helped out playing bass for the band, however one of the members decided she’d learn bass and now they have their very own bass player. They also have a couple of wonderful ladies who dance at some of the concerts.

CHUMS Christmas Concert, 2019

Over the years the group has become very accomplished and perform many different musical styles. They love a challenge and are not daunted by new songs or learning new (and sometimes quite difficult) chords. They also like to learn new strum patterns.


COVID lockdown and beyond

During lockdown, Donna and Derek performed a “Song of the Week” on video which was put on the CHUMS “Song of the Week” website for the band to learn individually.  Band practice resumed on 16 June, adhering to strict social distancing with lots of hand-sanitiser.  Since returning CHUMS now has the “Lockdown Concert” ready for public performance at some future time.

CHUMS practising social distancing, 2020


The CHUMS band has brought much joy to its members, many of whom never imagined that they would ever play a musical instrument, never mind perform in front of an audience.





Queensland Government Eases Restrictions in Stage 3- July 3 2020

We are all breathing a sigh of relief with the latest news from the Queensland Government which allows for further easing of the restrictions on business and on gatherings. READ the latest public health directions to stay COVID safe for Stage 3: Going out, travel, recreation and gathering in Queensland and Stage 3: Businesses, activities and undertakings

The key points are:

  • From midday 3 July 2020, you can gather in groups of up to 100 people in homes and public spaces.
  • You can travel anywhere in Queensland for any reason, except to remote communities (designated areas). There is no limit on distance. You can stay overnight anywhere in Queensland for as many nights as you like.

ALL physical distancing and health practices still to be followed:

  • staying at home if unwell
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and use alcohol-based sanitiser
  • avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes
  • wherever possible keep at least 1.5 metres away, two big steps, from people you don’t live with.

All businesses can now:

  • have one person per 4 square metres on their premises.
  • businesses with a floor space less than 200 square metres can have one person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people at a time.

Your management committee along with BUMS jam leaders and our community band leaders have met (gotta love Zoom!) to discuss how BUMS Inc will manage our events as we transition out of our time apart. Out of this meeting came BUMS Inc COVID-19 Operating Guidelines for members.


What Stage 3 means to  the BUMS Community.

Your health and safety is our highest priority. We need to consider that many members fall into the high risk category, as well as what is required to maintain the social distancing, cleaning and disinfection protocols before we return to jams face to face.

As BUMS love to sing as we play there are further considerations. Singing is a very effective way of spreading COVID-19#. Consequently, in addition to the above rules and safety protocols, if there is to be singing, it is highly recommended that participants also:

  • not face each other when singing.
  • there must be 1.5m between each singer/player
  • Under Stage 3, singing is permitted with the same distancing requirements listed above ***

*** https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/132704/places-of-worship-factsheet.pdf and extra info:  When and how can choirs sing again without becoming ‘super spreaders’? https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-06-14/how-can-we-resume-choir-practice-without-spreading-coronavirus/12344812

BUMS Inc also recommends that if a spike in active cases occurs in South East Queensland, then face-to-face events should be cancelled immediately.

Many smaller groups have notified us that they have started to return to practise and jamming together. If this is happening at a venue like a pub or bowling club, it is expected that the venue will be following COVID safe practices. Please check with your venue what you need to do to stay compliant.

If you are hosting gatherings at your home or in public spaces (like parks) please review and follow the BUMS Inc COVID SAFE GUIDELINES V2  (updated 7 July)  BUMSInc_COVID-19_OperatingGuidelines_v2.0

In particular for activities and events, organisers should:

  • ensure attendees pre-register (name, address, e-mail and contact number).
  • maintain an attendance register of organisers, performers, presenters and attendees. Download a printable BUMS Inc Contact Tracing Register form.
  • hold events outdoors, if possible
  • ensure appropriate ventilation for indoor events, e.g. open windows and doors, or use air conditioning
  • provide hand sanitiser and encourage attendees to bring their own.

Please note: Contact information must be kept for volunteers and attendees for at least 56 days. This must include: Name, family name, address, and mobile or landline contact phone number.

In addition, attendees are encouraged to:

  • run the COVIDSafe app on their mobile phones. More info & download HERE
  • clean their hands, instruments and equipment before and after events
  • use only their own instruments, microphones, etc.
  • sanitise shared equipment (e.g. mixing desk, speakers & stands) before and after events.

Moving Forward

For as long as the Queensland Government COVID-19 public health rules apply, for each event or activity, the BUMS guidelines will be:

  • reviewed (and if necessary, updated) Last updated 7 July
  • displayed at all venues used for BUMS Inc activities and events
  • sent to attendees who have pre-registered.

Currently all of our jam leaders are in contact with our various venues to determine when BUMS Jams are welcome to return. We do not have any firm date yet when that will happen. Check the News & Events Page for the latest event information that we have received.

For the time being all official BUMS jams will continue to be streamed in our private members Facebook Group- BUMS Online. Find out how you can join HERE.

Thank you to all of our members for your patience and to all our busy BUMS community leaders who have shown amazing resilience, creativity and community spirit keeping us entertained and connected.

If you or a group you belong to are returning to meeting or rehearsing please email details to Jo Kunde via .


It’s the end of the financial year and that usually means that it’s time to renew your BUMS Inc Membership. However we find ourselves in strange and discordant times, and so a decision was taken by your management committee, that all current memberships will be extended until 31 December.

One of the big perks of being a BUMS Financial Member is free entry into all of our jams and the eligibility to join one of our community bands. As social distancing and current Covid-19 restrictions are keeping us from gathering for jams and practices, the ways we interact with our community have changed for the near future, and BUMS mission is to help our members and community stay positive and connected.

This means ALL current financial members and extraordinary associate members will keep all the rights and privileges they currently hold even if we get back to jamming before the end of the year.


All BUMS members are invited to join our private Facebook group called, you guessed it, BUMS Online! The group has grown rapidly to support and help our members with all things ukulele including sharing songs, performances from home, discussions, reviews, tutorials, and our popular live-streaming jams. We currently have 295 members active online and there is lots happening!

We are up to our eighth Big Uke Jam Online on 1 July 2020. Jam #8 features sets from Mama Juju & The Jam Tarts, David Hethorn, David Pedler & Lyn Lucas, Caroline Haig, Adrian Board, and Spare Parts with Max Borchardt as MC.

If you use Facebook and have not yet joined BUMS Online come and check it out https://www.facebook.com/groups/BUMSmembers

If you are not a current financial member (Jul 2019- Dec 2020) you can join as an extraordinary associate member to be accepted into the BUMS Online Facebook Group. All you need to know HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: BUMS Online is a safe, supportive space for our community and is moderated. You MUST be either a current financial member OR an extraordinary associate member BEFORE being accepted as a member of the BUMS Online Group. Non-members will be declined. 


For those who have paid their dues current financial members (Jul 2019- Dec 2020) also still have
• The right to vote at general meetings. AGM scheduled for October 2020.
• To nominate for positions on the society’s management committee.
• Eligibility to be promoted on our ukulele performers and ukulele teachers web pages.
• Eligibility to sell your old uke via our website or social media when you upgrade your instrument.


The New Year will be a new start for BUMS. ALL memberships will be due for renewal and the extraordinary associate membership period will end.

The good news is that there will be a reduced fee of $25 for this Jan 2020 – Jul 2021 period.

Don’t worry we’ll let you know all about it in December. BUMS Membership would make a great Christmas gift!

Membership fees help BUMS Inc to

  • maintain our performance and audio visual equipment,
  • hire venues for jams,
  • offset the costs of concerts and workshops so members receive discounts,
  • and run our biennial ukulele festival, SPRUKE.

BUMS is planning to support our ukulele community and performers with some exciting events, concerts and workshops as soon as it is safe for us all to gather again.

Due to its success, the BUMS Online Members Group is expected to also continue and will become one of the perks of continuing BUMS membership.

Life Members 2020

Congratulations to Keryn Henderson and Ian Phillips on being awarded Life Membership of BUMS Inc in recognition of their outstanding and dedicated contributions to the BUMS community and activities.

Keryn Henderson
Many committee roles since 2012 including Treasurer, Secretary and Gigmeister, works behind the scenes on many projects including website development, newsletters, SPRUKE festivals, BUMS policies and the DropBox music library, created and runs ukulele Bootcamp for beginners.




Ian Phillips

Performing member in The CAGE and A Hint of Rosemary; President 2015-2017, Coordinator of The CAGE, organiser of UkeFest (for primary school children) in 2016, created ChUKES (a community band for young players), organiser of Coorparoo Big Jam, song leader at jams and BUMS Online, singing and musical mentor to BUMS bands.


As Life Members Keryn and Ian enjoy all the benefits of our regular members including free entry to all of our large monthly jams, eligibility to join one of our community bands, and the right to nominate for committee positions and AGM voting priviledges. As well as all of these their membership fees are waived for life and they receive a certificate of appreciation.

Keryn and Ian join six other BUMS Inc Life Members and you can read more about them here.

Ukulele in the Park @ Parkinson

I’m one of those people that comment on posts on Facebook — and then sometimes regret it!

You know, commenting on topics like, vaccines, for or against or Rugby or AFL, or even more disturbing, should I have dinner out tonight?

Well, some weeks ago I saw a post on our local residents Algester/Parkinson Facebook page asking about ukulele. The questions was about starting a local group. So I answered. Sure, I play. How can I help? A few random posts on the page asking if anyone was interested in learning, and we were off and running.

Ukulele in the park

Angie’s uke converts practising in the park.

Tuesday 9 June was our 3rd meeting. We meet in a lovely little park with a rotunda in a very quiet neighbourhood in Parkinson.

I have become the accidental teacher with anywhere between 8 and 15 enthusiastic learners. All absolute beginners — but some picking up the concept quicker than others.

Generally, I print five 2- or 3-chord songs for the group, and they contribute a gold coin donation to cover printing costs. For people seeking advice about upgrading their ukuleles, I suggest the local music store at Browns Plains. To help them widen their repertoire, I also encourage them to use YouTube and purchase the Ukulele Club Songbook.

We’ve now morphed into two little groups, and I have enlisted another player to help with the “very” beginners while I coach the more “advanced” beginners.

For an hour and a half, so much is learned, played and enjoyed that you can only smile at the joy the ukulele brings. I’ve been privileged to meet some wonderful people who  have come along and joined in during the COVID19 isolation, and experienced community and friendship through ukulele.

I’ve set them a goal — by the end of September, have six songs ready to perform in a local venue.

Stay tuned for an update of where and when so that you can come and cheer these great people on.

Angela McGrath

Maree Reedman

The 100 Days of Ukulele Challenge is a ukulele journey with a difference.

Budding singer, songwriter and ukulele player Maree Reedman tells us how she wrestled with the challenge.

Maree shares her  journey.

Performance Anxiety

Fear clamped all the way from my stomach to my throat as I waited to go on stage at the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival open mic. I should be alright. I’d practised the song. But it was the biggest crowd I had seen — over a hundred people. I walked up to the mic, my heart beating faster than a rock song. When I sang, it was like a strangler vine had taken over my vocal chords. I couldn’t control my voice. It was much higher than it should be. The crowd was kind and sang with me. But to this day, I remember the man who made a face and turned away.

That was a few years ago. I’m not a natural performer. I don’t thrive on people’s attention. I don’t love parties. And yet because I love playing the uke, I keep trying to find a way to become more confident on stage. I’ve improved since then, and I’ve never felt that level of fear again. I’ve done more open mics and busking, and even entered songwriting competitions where I’ve had to perform my song.

Taking on the Challenge

Day 10: Choir Girl by Cold Chisel

Then I saw this year’s 100 Days of Ukulele on Cynthia Lin’s Patreon page. She launched the challenge a few years ago, from another internet-based art idea, #THE100DAYPROJECT. Now she hosts it every year in a private Facebook group.

Ukulele musicians are invited to post a song daily. There are no rules, you can do a song whenever you want.

But I have always been fascinated by hardship and the personal growth that it yields, so I wanted to do it the traditional way: one song, every goddamn day.


Getting Started

And yet, should I wait until I was better? I hadn’t figured out my iRig pre-amp yet. What was I going to do about sound? A friend said, “For God’s sake, just record yourself in the bathroom.” And so I did … for my first song.

I’ve posted over seventy songs. I joined Facebook and uploaded to YouTube. In the beginning, I spent hours setting up my recording space — the best spot for the amp and the mic and the music stand and lighting (my study faces west and doesn’t get much natural light).

Day 61: Waiting For You To Come Home (Original)

I’ve had technical glitches and reno-across-the-road problems that have wrecked recordings which took so long to make, and have even driven me out of the house in search of a quiet place to perform.

Day 71: If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot/Johnny Cash

In the beginning, knowing I had to record, I had that familiar churning in my guts. But it’s just part of my everyday routine now. I smile at the camera. I laugh like a madwoman when I make mistakes. Sometimes I sing like I’ve always wanted. And every day, people give me positive feedback.

The Outcome

I still chafe against perfectionism. Sometimes I can’t make the song sound like I want it to. I don’t have much time to learn or rehearse or arrange. It is a wicked, fantastic behavioural experiment for my high standards that I have to post something every day no matter what.

I still get envious of the performers whom everyone loves and who are better than me. But I’ve made friends all over the world, and I remember what another participant wrote: It is beautiful where we all are at this very moment.