Vancouver Ukulele Circle Meetings 2005 Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ralph’s Blog Archives – 2005

Ralph Shaw, our Illustrious Leader, writes:

My purpose in starting this uke-log of the meetings and activities of the Vancouver Ukulele Circle is to give those people who are unable to be at the a meetings a chance to get a flavour of what they missed. I can tell you now that not all the information will be entirely accurate. As I sit down to update this uke-log in the days after any given meeting I will be sure to have forgotten some key moments and one or two worthy performances and I hope that feelings won’t be hurt. I will do my best but if you notice any omissions or major inaccuracies please feel free to email them to Wendy Cutler so that corrections can be made.

These are the write-ups from previous years. Current year entries are on
Ralph’s Blog page.

Other years: see Blog Archives

Vancouver Ukulele Circle Meetings 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Twenty-five, at Our Town. New people – Ruth Raymond, Jason (friend of Tom Saunders), Guido Heistek, Kathryn (Guido’s ukulele student). Great night. For the first 45 minutes we sang Christmas songs from the book. Then I introduced Guido (comment from Wendy: Ralph introduced Guido as “my new best friend”) as our judge and then took a 10 minute break. The song contest was outstanding – the quality of the songs was superb and hopefully it has all been captured on DVD.

1st prize was won by Tom Saunders (T shirt, strums DVD, strings, $20 Rufus gift voucher, and chocolates) for his song Santa Keep My Christmas Presents Dry. 2nd prize was won by Ann Foster, who did her hilariously depressing song “oh Well”. 3rd prize was for a lovely instrumental played by Tracy Bissonnette.. (2nd prize was Kids Ukulele Course DVD, $20 voucher for Rufus, strings & chocolates), (3rd prize was By George! CD, strings & chocolates), 4th prize – a free lesson with Guido, and chocolates – was won by Cynthia for her “Someone Stole my Fuzzy Santa”. Others were: Pam with a song inspired by Jake Thackeray, me with Donner the Yodelling Reindeer, Wendy with Vi äro musikanter, Ronin with It’s Just Not Christmas Without You.

Performance time then followed. Cynthia – Santa Baby; Fred – a hymn about Annie, the name of a friend that passed away; Ronin – Do They Know It’s Christmas?; Pam – Nasty Man; Jim – Galaxy Song, and Lamppost; Roy & Ann tried a couple of songs: Yes Sir That’s My Baby, and Sunny Side of the Street.

Guido came back up to name the winers. He sang I’ll See You In My Dreams, and he and I did Honeysuckle Rose together, and got an encore, so we did King of the Swingers.

November 15, 2005

Tried new location: Our Town, on the corner of Kingsway & Broadway. They sell soup, paninis, coffee, beer, wine, and some other things. The room worked well for the 16 of us. It has a small stage, good acoustics, and is a nice size for our group plus other patrons. The energy was great, and we had a fun night. An older lady called Lita sang along every song and had a wonderful time. The waitress, Julie, is a ukulele fan and has interviewed Janet Klein. She wants to learn Her Beaus are Only Rainbows.

October 18, 2005

In the Common Room, 15 people. Ronin taught Rock-uke workshop using U2 song With or Without You. Pam and friend were in hysterics laughing. Pam’s dad and father-in-law were also there.

September 20, 2005

VUC 5th Anniversary, at Original Joe’s. There were only five of us for dinner, but others joined later, including 1st timer Steve, with mandolin, Dennis, who just sang, and another lady who wants to learn ukulele. About 17 in all.

Performances: Peter Murphy – Steppin’ Out; Pam Burns – Button Up Your Overcoat; Ronin – Alright Now (a real rocking number); Ann – It’s Only a Paper Moon, Steve did a sad folk song (so sad it was also funny); Jim did Leaning on a Lamppost, with a good attempt at the Formby strum.

We also watched our performances of our two gigs! – 1) The National Anthems at the ballgame, and 2) Anne Fleming’s book launch, where we sang The Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop, followed by our encore: Singing in the Rain.

August 16, 2005

Sunset Beach. Cloudy all day, but warm and humid. About 15 people were there. As usual, people made excuses before playing, but this theme was taken to a whole new level when we realised that for our next songbook, we could have an excuse on each page! Ron lit his Coleman lamp, and Pam had sandwich bags in which she put tea lights (and sand to stop them blowing away).

Suddenly the rain came. We quickly abandoned the beach and ran up to the Common Room. There followed a very different evening! Pam sang Till There Was You; Brad did Man of Constant Sorrow; Peter did a bluegrass song; Anne sang a song from her book (about a girl’s obsession with death); I sang Seasons in the Sun (to keep the death theme going); Cynthia sang La Vie en Rose; Pam and Travis did a joke song: I Say, I Say, What Do You Call a Man Covered in Leaves? Russell.

We practiced the 2 anthems for our baseball game on Friday. Travis’s steel guitar was a wonderful addition to the sound and really gives a good intro to the anthems.

July 19, 2005

Sunset Beach. Beautiful weather. Quite a big turnout – more than 23 people. Bernie & family (Laura’s pregnant for 3rd time), Ragnar & Chris, Cynthia’s friends – Fred & others, Ronin, Pam, Anne Fleming (announced her upcoming book launch in Sept), Ole & Heather (in grass skirt & black cords!), Guy, Andrew, Peter, Brad, James Hill, Ann, Virginia, Yusuke & family, Wendy, Derek (with his folding bike) and quite a few others. It was a little difficult to hear one another but thanks to Ron’s bass we were able to stay more or less together.

Solos by Peter (Blue Rodeo song), Ronin (Black Magic Woman medley), Ole & Heather also played the saw all evening, Virginia sang Lullaby of the Leaves. As usual everyone made excuses before playing. These were particularly good tonight.

June 21, 2005

About 16 people. The ukulele circle was just brilliant again tonight. There were wonderful performances by: Carole, Pam, Ronin (California Dreaming), Peter, Cynthia, Shek, myself and apologies if I forgot anyone. 2 ½ minute gems of unique musical joy that are impossible to describe in email form – great stuff!

We discussed whether to change our name to The ‘Royal’ Vancouver Ukulele Circle. (Another suggestion was to call ourselves the ‘Royal Olympic’ Vancouver Ukulele Circle and then use the Olympic rings as our logo. (An idea which has a certain dash of appeal considering the amount of publicity that has been garnered by the Olympic Restaurant on Denman St.). We were going to vote on the name change but a few people felt that to be a proper monarchy there shouldn’t be a vote at all so I suggested that we vote on whether we ought to have a vote or not. In the end Anne Fleming proposed that we use the name ‘Royal’ Vancouver Ukulele Circle’ for show but we will still keep our original name of The Vancouver Ukulele Circle for formal purposes. At this proposal there was a general muttering of approval which I took to be a Yes.

So to sum up we will call ourselves: The Royal Vancouver Ukulele Circle formally known as The Vancouver Ukulele Circle.

Thanks to Ron for providing excellent bass accompaniment to our oft garbled twangings. And thanks to Ronin and Carole for being song leaders – an excellent start – the more the merrier I say.

Weather permitting our next meeting (July 19th) will probably be at the beach

Aloha and Keep on ukeing!!!!!


May 17, 2005

Fifteen people, a slightly lower than usual turnout – possibly because of today’s Provincial Election, but we did have several new people: Don (engineer at CBC who heard of us through recording James Hill), Derek (an English chap who came without a uke and had found us on the web), Michael (he met Wendy 8 months ago & she put him on the Vanukes list & today he showed up (he did a very nice version of Pete Townsend’s Red, Blue & Grey). Also there was Stan (I bought him a beer in thanks for my Wendell Hall), and Brock and Debbie (did a nice duet of a Hawaiian song – Brock messed up the solo so I got him to do it again at the end). Ted sang Hot Tamales; Pam sang Sadie Green; Ronin sang When You Wish Upon A Star; Anne Fleming – Wood River; I did We Three & got a standing ovation (because I told how I had followed James Hill’s standing ovation in Winnipeg).

I find myself doing simple arrangements “on the fly”. I feel it would be good to plan our arrangements more and have different “solo” singers. Also I put forward the idea of putting on our own Vancouver Ukulele Festival next year.

April 19, 2005

Original Joe’s, 24 people. Barry & Barbara Hill (James’s parents) joined us for dinner on their way to the Arlo Guthrie concert. Dennis brought his dad, Roy, who had a baritone uke. Rock showed up to buy a book. Marianne Brogan from Portland Ukulele Association was a guest. The new song books (Tricky Wicky Wacky Woo) were revealed and sold. 26 copies were sold tonight.

Performance Time: Marianne had us all doing Frere Jacques with one group alternating on G & C strngs, another alternating on all 4 strings while playing a C chord, and two groups playing melodies in rounds. Then we sang Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself a Letter. Later Marianne sang Some of These Days.

Peter Murphy sand Night & Day, Pam did Cry Me a River, Ann Foster sang a song, then Roy & Ann together played Five Foot Two, and On the Sunny Side of the Street – he played chords & she did melody. They made a great team!

Brock did a country blues (Whiskey Blues?), and Ronin did an Elvis song (which I’d never heard before). Ron was fabulous on bass. It was a great evening.

March 15, 2005

Twenty-three people. New people: Fred (friend of Cynthia) did a lovely version of Iz’s Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World; Brock (friend of Deb) – I have met him before.

Tonight was distinguished by a good quality sound which was helped by people sitting closely together. Lots of laughs too. Yusuke stopped in to show Virginia the hummingbird inlay for her uke that he’s building. Pam pestered Ron all night to do a bass solo, but he never did!

Songs were: Anytime, Side by Side, Country Roads, Someday Soon, Vaya Con Dios (all led by Carol), Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Hello My Baby, I’ll Follow the Sun, King of the Swingers, Lulu’s Back, On a Slow Boat to China, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Pearly Shells, Swimmin’ With the Wimmin, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Goodnight Sweetheart.

Performances: My Moveable Music School Class did Darktown Strutters, Ball, Pasadena – in Reggae and Samba and 12-bar blues. Pam sang Nasty Man; Ronin – I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Brock did a ragtime song; Deb – a Flatt & Scruggs song; Virginia – Lulu’s Back; Carol did a song about a mining disaster; I sang Why Don’t Women Like Me. In the middle of all this Cynthia was waving at me and said this guy here is a record producer and he wants to talk to you. I thought “Yeah, yeah, Cynthia”. It turned out to be true! Stephen R. Hopkins of Azimuth Phoenix Music wanted to know if he might record us and sell the CDs as a niche music style. How very surprising. We have yet to play our first public performance.

I announced the new songbook – prototypes were ready for proofreading and we should have finished copies for next time.

February 15, 2005

Seventeen people. Pam performed Waterboys’ Fisherman’s Blues; Anne did Georgy Girl, and Ronin did The Great Pretender, and a medley of Black Magic Woman, The Thrill is Gone, and Come On Baby Light My Fire.

New person tonight was Deb, a friend of Ted.

Pam and Kate came to the front and helped with a couple of songs, which was nice. The three of us led With a Little Help From My Friends.

January 18, 2005

At Original Joe’s, about 20 people. Began by sharing the new singing mascot (comment from Wendy: Anne gave us the mascot: Paddington Bear, wearing a rain slicker, who taps his foot and sings Singing in the Rain, our opening number every month). During the break we voted to name the mascot. Suggestions included: George, Ike, Luke, Duke, Fido Castrato, Mac, Cliff, Happy Howler, Drizzle. The winner was “Uke Doggie Dog” with 3 votes!

Performances: Peter did a riff he’d made up; Ronin sang I Want You to Want Me; Pam sang Blue Moon; Ted sang The Lady is a Tramp with his guitar. I said “Even though it was a guitar, it wasn’t too bad – a pallet cleanser getting us ready for more ukulele”. I sang I Just Wish I Was In Love. Carol did an action song for Singing in the Rain, which was quite funny.

New people: Robyn (a woman that Wendy knows), Tim (he had been once before a few months ago), Cynthia (she came to the Xmas party).

Note: It was good that I planned the songs ahead of time. It made the whole evening less tense and more enjoyable.