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fretie
09-24-2015, 06:31 PM
I'm so excited to be part of the grass roots of Vancouver's first ukulele orchestra! We had our first rehearsal tonight at Ruby Ukes, a big ukulele school in downtown Vancouver.

There were about 50 ukuleles playing four parts of our first chord-melody piece. Such a thrilling change to hear so many ukes playing together in parts rather than just strumming in unison.

Gonna be a blast to see the orchestra evolve in the weeks to come!

janeray1940
09-24-2015, 06:34 PM
Wow - sounds amazing! My group has only around 10 people, playing 3 or 4 parts, and it's a total blast - but FIFTY? Impressive!

fretie
09-24-2015, 06:54 PM
Wow - sounds amazing! My group has only around 10 people, playing 3 or 4 parts, and it's a total blast - but FIFTY? Impressive!

Janeray, Vancouver, as well as the surrounding communities, is just stuffed with uke players. At the monthly Vancouver ukulele circle there can easily be 80 to 100 strummers! This group is lead by Ralph Shaw and just celebrated its 15th anniversary.

janeray1940
09-24-2015, 11:36 PM
Janeray, Vancouver, as well as the surrounding communities, is just stuffed with uke players. At the monthly Vancouver ukulele circle there can easily be 80 to 100 strummers! This group is lead by Ralph Shaw and just celebrated its 15th anniversary.

Oh, that must be fun - Ralph Shaw has done a few workshops here, I've never attended but have heard good things :)

turtledrum
09-25-2015, 02:48 AM
That's so wonderful, Fretie and Janeray. I play alone, but think that group play would really help me to enhance my playing. Happy for you both!

Patrick Madsen
09-25-2015, 07:05 AM
Congrats Fretie. Ralph did a workshop here in Bellingham and was amazing. The local uke orchestra here has around 40 I think. It's been fun watching those who join improve so much.

Did you ever find another uke?

janeray1940
09-25-2015, 07:20 AM
That's so wonderful, Fretie and Janeray. I play alone, but think that group play would really help me to enhance my playing. Happy for you both!

I do both - I play alone, in an ensemble, and duets/three part pieces with two others. Each is a very different experience and I find that when a lot of time goes by away from group playing and I get back to it, I need to put a little extra work into timing and tempo that I tend to let slide a bit when I play alone. Playing alone, my focus tends to be more on getting all of the notes right. In a group, you've always got a bit of backup for that :)

And looking at this thread again this morning, I am just amazed that there are so many skilled uke players in Vancouver. There are times when we can barely keep up our minimum of 8-10 players for the ensemble that I play in - things happen, people leave, and filling their places is near impossible since the vast majority of players around here are singer/strummers rather than instrumental players.

fretie
09-25-2015, 01:11 PM
Congrats Fretie. Ralph did a workshop here in Bellingham and was amazing. The local uke orchestra here has around 40 I think. It's been fun watching those who join improve so much.

Did you ever find another uke?

Yes, I think it will be awesome to see how our first orchestra improves too. We started with some very simple warmups and a basic piece in four parts. The potential of the group is great and the leadership of Tim Tweedale is fantastic.

Patrick, I am still on the lookout for a concert Kamaka or a long necked soprano Kamaka. I had a couple here on UU get away from me while I waffled about what I really wanted but now that I am sure of what will fit my little quiver best I am patiently waiting.

Janeray, it's cool that you enjoy both playing on your own and in groups, certainly each compliments the other. We had a huge ukulele community in the Vancouver area in part because of the long history of the Langley school district's ukulele program and also thanks to many talented ukulele leaders not the least of which is Ralph, James Hill, and Ruby Ukes.

kohanmike
09-25-2015, 02:35 PM
I was a member of the Westside Ukulele Ensemble with Janeray1940, and dropped out because I had trouble keeping up with instrumentals, among other things. I do miss it to a degree, but now I'm playing bass uke with a strum a sing group of about 60, which has been very satisfying.

I also took a class with Ralph Shaw when he came to Los Angeles, and on his mailing list. If I lived in Vancouver, I'd want to be a member of that group.

Freeda
09-25-2015, 03:20 PM
Where are you getting your music from? I've been in search of multipart music forever.

fretie
09-25-2015, 03:24 PM
Where are you getting your music from? I've been in search of multipart music forever.

Freda, at this point the music we're using has been put together by the orchestra's leader, Tim Tweedale.

kohanmike
09-25-2015, 09:41 PM
With the Westside Ukulele Ensemble, either a member did an arrangement for the group, or we used an arrangement by a teacher many of the group took an ensemble class with.

Freeda
10-16-2015, 02:24 PM
I'd pay for multi part arrangements. Inbox me if you have contact info!!! :). Thanks, much appreciated!