The BUMS Coorparoo-based band is sad to be losing its guiding lights in 2017. A core group of The Bottom Line — Amanda, Cath, Lindsay and Mark — wish to focus on playing together as the performing group Anything Goes. The Bottom Line, an incarnation of the BUMS Big Band (BBB), practices at the Coorparoo Bowls Club on Wednesday nights.

Amanda Allwood joined BUMS in 2010, and Mark Bradshaw in 2011. They have been members of the Coorparoo group since the BUMS Big Band was established by Milton Scully to perform at our first ukulele festival — Brisbane’s Big Ukulele Jam in 2011. After the festival, Judy Holdaway, Jane Jacobs and John Henderson took over from Milton in 2012.

Members of the BUMS Big Band that performed at Brisbane’s Big Uke Jam on the QPAC Green in 2011.

Cath McCourt joined the BUMS Big Band in 2011, and Lindsay Ball in 2012. Later, Lindsay took over from Jane and Judy helping John lead the band. Available members of the band performed at our sister festival, Newkuleke, and the Cairns Ukulele Festival in 2012, and at Redlands, Blackall and Cairns in 2013.

 

In 2012, available members of the Big Band (Cath, Judy, Narelle, Amanda, Lindsay, Chris and John) represented BUMS Inc at our sister festival, Newkulele.

 

With the help of Benhur, the Big Band put together a credible entry for the festival video competition.

The BUMS Big Band and was at full strength for SPRUKE 2013 under Lindsay and Cath’s expert and enthusiastic artistic direction. After the roaring success of their SPRUKE performance, the group had a hectic local schedule of community performances.

The BUMS Big Band at full strength for SPRUKE 2013.

Lindsay remembers, “We really had a crazy time of it in 2013, performing 15 gigs in the year, including travelling to the Blackall and Cairns festivals. It was something of a baptism by fire, but the hard work we all put into practising for our performances helped us all to become rather good ukulele players very quickly. If you want to improve, there’s no better way than to join a performing group.”

To meet the growing demand for community performances in the Brisbane area, a Brisbane northside band, NUMB BUMS, was formed in 2014. With the establishment of NUMB BUMS, the remaining members of the Big Band, under Amanda and Cath’s guidance, and Lindsay’s dedicated direction, continued to provide entertainment at local events, including a memorable performance on the green at QPAC for Australia Day, 2014. The band developed a sophisticated repertoire, and continued to fly the BUMS flag in a smaller group known as The Bottom Line. They performed at festivals at Redlands, the Blue Mountains and Newcastle, culminating in a Friday night performance at SPRUKE 2015.

A larger group of Big Band members (Julie, Cath, Nina, Chrissy, Amanda, our guest drummer, Narelle, Phil, Lindsay, and Jack) performed as The Bottom Line at the Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival in 2014.

In explaining his decision to step down as the leader of the Coorparoo band, Lindsay said, “Given my work commitments, I realised I had time to devote to only one band, and I decided Anything Goes was it. After several years playing together in The Bottom Line, it felt like it was time for us all to move on to other things. Anything Goes is looking forward to challenging our skills with festival performances at the Sunshine Coast, SPRUKE and Neurum Creek this year, and we hope to be helping out at BUMS jams as well.”

We asked each of the departing members for their impressions of their time with The Bottom Line.

Amanda remembers, “The Big Band formed in 2011, as a bunch of enthusiasts determined to improve their playing and put on a show. Spurred on by the fearless leadership of Milton Scully (whose belief in us never wavered) we practised for months! Performing on the lawn outside QPAC as part of the inaugural BUMS Ukulele Festival in 2011 will always be a highlight for me! We were very well received and even had some young dancers on the lawn grooving to the smooth sounds of “Bridal Train” and “Blueberry Hill”.

Cath had this to say. “I heard that the Big Band’s bass player was leaving to go to Germany and thought I’d put up my hand to be a part of an exciting group, where having fun was the draw card. I knew we could venture further afield and try for other festivals and we got to show other states that Brisbane is up there with the rest of them.”

Mark has fond memories, too. “I’ve had no formal musical training of any kind. After joining the Big Band in 2011, I performed a few small shows. It really helped me to tackle more complicated musical work, and my confidence grew. After a break, I rejoined The Bottom Line in 2015. Later, I was invited to join Anything Goes and we have gone from strength to strength.

“The friendships that I have made in the bands have improved my life and have given me something to look forward to every week. I have been wonderfully blessed. I now have friends for life — and my music ability continues to improve. I hope to do many more shows with Anything Goes. I’m looking forward to seeing where the ukulele will take me in coming years. Without BUMS and the other members of Anything Goes, my musical abilities would never have gotten out of the garden shed!”

Lindsay said, “Being a part of the BUMS Big Band, and then The Bottom Line has taken me from a ukulele newbie to a confident performer. I have made wonderful friends, and discovered musical talents I didn’t know I had. There’s nothing like the buzz you get from performing for an audience and seeing people singing along, tapping their feet or dancing as you play and sing.

I’d like to thank all the members of the The Bottom Line who have helped me over the years, and who have worked so hard to make the band a success. In particular, thank you to Leeanne Horne, Julie Sharpe, Narelle Burke, Tammy Somerwil, Sue Gleed, Marg Otto, Chan Hoo and Jack Fitzwalter for their efforts over the past three years.”

Lindsay, Amanda, Cath and Mark at Newkulele 2016.

“As President, I would like to add my many thanks to all the members that have partaken in the BUMS Big Band and The Bottom Line over the years. I truly believe this band has made a great impact on the growth of BUMS and has shown many other ukulele clubs around Australia what a great organization we are. I have enjoyed and admired your musicality, standard of excellence and confidence in performing. On behalf of all BUMS members many thanks for taking us on the journey with you and best wishes on what lays ahead.”
Ian Phillips

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Generous BUMS members contributed to the Music Therapy Program for Sheltered by Grace Homelessness Shelter at Meadowbrook. Thank you all!

Delivery of the Ten Forge Ukulele, eggs and Cabasa moves the project to reality with considerable assistance and donations from Paul Morris of Morris Music and the Forge supplier. Each concert Ukulele has taken the name of a famous ukulele aficionado. Introducing George, John, Paul, Pink, Warren, Suzi, Bruce, Eric, Taylor, Barack who will soon be delivering joy to residents at the shelter.

Vic Kena is excited to be able to start the music sessions. The program’s effectiveness will be measured to support its continuity and growth beyond Sheltered by Grace. It aims to assist otherwise homeless and destitute residents to achieve feelings of achievement and self-worth, relieve stress, reduce anxiety and provide a positive experience so that they are more able to cope with life and consequently assist them to find more permanent homes.

105,000 people are homeless in Australia on any night. Homelessness is an issue potentially affecting many amongst us. Its causes include family breakdown, domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, mental health, inability to work, and just bad luck. Sheltered by Grace is a self-funded not for profit enterprise founded by Jason and Lisa Loakes seeking to transform the lives of affected individuals. Sheltered by Grace is operated by a team of volunteers and provides up to 5,800 safe bed nights per year.

Sheltered by Grace links:

http://www.sbg.org.au/

https://www.facebook.com/ShelteredByGrace

Find out what our club has achieved with you, and for you, in the last 12 months.

You are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc. Here is your chance to shape the future of our society. Take part and have your say in the direction of our society -fresh ideas are welcome!

Date: Thursday 13 October 2016
Time: 7:00 pm (preceded by nibbles from 6:30 pm)
Venue: Coorparoo Bowls Club

mahalo-u-320b-deluxe-baritone-ukuleleBring your ukulele as we open and close the meeting with a song.

You could also WIN a Mahalo Baritone Mahogany Ukulele and Xtreme Gig Bag -Value $240! Tickets being sold at Jams leading up to and at AGM.

To attend the meeting you must be a financial member of BUMS Inc.
All positions are declared vacant and nominations are always welcome. To nominate, second a nomination, or be nominated for a position, please download a nomination form and return to the Secretary by 29 September 2016.

For more information contact Clare at secretary@brisbaneukulele.com

**UPDATE 29 September** Nominations are now closed
Nominations for the 2016-2017 Management Committee are

President – Ian Phillips
Vice-President – Sharon Mitchell
Secretary – Judy Matthews
Assistant Secretary – Clare Gornall
Treasurer – Colin Grant
Assistant Treasurer – Keryn Henderson
Media Manager – Jo Kunde
Gigmeister – John Henderson
Property Manager – Blair Marks
IT Officer – John Henderson
Festival Director – Max Borchardt

1. Download the nomination form for committee positions.
2. Nominate or Second someone for a position.
3. Send in your position nomination by 29 September 2016 to secretary@brisbaneukulele.com.
4. RSVP to secretary@brisbaneukulele.com by Thursday 6 October so we can cater for you and send you the AGM agenda and minutes.
5. Come along (with your uke) at 6:30 pm on Thursday 13 October, for refreshments and a song before the meeting fun begins!

Hope to see as many of you as possible at the AGM to bring fresh ideas to our society.

BUMS Inc

2010 has been a big year for us BUMS.

It seems the ukulele has become a force to be reckoned with and one can be forgiven for thinking it has all the characteristics of a movement! The Worldwide Ukulele revolution!!?

We BUMS have been growing along with the unprecedented rise in interest in all things ukulele. Our monthly Jam meetings have more than doubled (Jam packed!!?) and we now have up to 60 ukuleles and their people making music on the first Wednesday of every month at our new home at the Coorparoo Bowls Club. Our monthly jam meetings now boast words and music projected up onto the screen plus a real microphone! Very professional… (Thanks Joe and Rob).

We know that some beginners are reluctant to join a bunch of rampant ukulele-ists in a mass jam session. So we have introduced beginners’ sessions – a half hour with Kahiwa before each Jam session builds the confidence and in no time flat raw beginners are happily strumming along with everyone else! Idf you are a cautious beginner try it out next year.

The new venue comes at a cost and we are delighted with your willingness to help out – please, keep it up!

Speaking of cost, we have taken the big step to incorporate – yes, we are now BUMS Incorporated! This is a formalisation of our very informal structure and it puts us onto a better footing for managing the ever-growing demands of a growing bunch of uke devotees. With incorporation come all sorts of costs like insurances and government fees that we will need to cover with membership fees. Those who attended our first management meeting overwhelmingly endorsed a ridiculously cheap $50 annual membership fee that also includes membership of the Coorparoo Bowls Club. Along with the other benefits too numerous to mention here, it’s a great deal whatever way you look at it! Garry has written some more details about it his first ever “Treasurer’s Note”.

The move to Coorparoo has been a good one. Not only are we enjoying the company of more and more enthusiastic ukers but we can now enjoy a drink from the full bar, and a meal from the chef plus we are warmly welcomed as part of their weekly scene. Feels like home already…

A big part of our busy year has been the “Performing BUMS” gigs including invitations to perform at the inaugural MUF (Melbourne Ukulele Festival) and the inaugural Cairns Ukulele Festival. A highlight for us in Cairns was inciting spontaneous conga line dancing with our rendition of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”! It is a real buzz to get people up and dancing. We have been invited back to Melbourne and we are looking forward to a return invitation to Cairns.

Throughout the year we have been supported by our good friends at the Guitar Brothers, Red Hill – thanks fellas for your support, for your enthusiasm and for your monthly raffle prizes! Did I say Guitar Brothers? Talk to them about your next uke or any music making needs – they will do you a great BUMS deal!

A big thank you to Michael Phipps for donating our BUMS website and domain, and to Kahiwa for continuing to keep it current and adding lots of information and links you can use. If you have any suggestions for more useful information please let us know.

Finally, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year!

We look forward to strumming along and having a plucking good time with you in 2011!

Merry Christmas

Bruce

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BUMS Inc

The Conga Line (Photo credit: Marg Renwood)

A number of the Performing BUMS group braved the trip to the deep north to attend and perform at the inaugural Cairns Ukulele Festival. As to be expected with a first time event there were a few teething problems. However overall the festival was a great ukulele experience with some big local and international performers that made us more humble players feel very inadequate – or more positively gave us new benchmarks to strive for. The workshops were good and those of us who attended have come away with some new skills.
Our BUMS performance was a bit stressful as we were moved from an afternoon spot performing on the Esplanade to the last spot of the night on the beer garden stage at the Court House Hotel. Of course we loved the opportunity to have all those support acts performing before us, but it did mean we had to remain sober!!!
Maybe we had just enough alcohol to loosen us up as we managed to put in our best performance to date! By our second number we had a Conga line dancing around the beer garden led by the girls from the Dukes (Darwin Ukulele Kollective).

At the end of our set we experienced our first Encore call! It was a real buzz.
As someone from the audience said to me the next day ”You BUMS really nailed it last night!!!” it was all worth it just for that. Roll on next year!
If you would like to be a Performing BUM, come along to our practice gigs on Wednesday nights at the Bowls Club. It is a great way to challenge yourself and lift your playing skills – it’s also a lot of fun. Be brave and join us!!!


Bruce

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