Dear Ukulele Friends,
Its with a really heavy heart I’m letting you know our very dear friend and fellow uker Tommy Sheridan has passed away.
Tommy had a number of great passions in his life including his golf but when Tommy found the ukulele he embraced it with a wonderful enthusiasm and we found a wonderful friend in him.
Tommy’s particular ukulele hero was George Formby and he was a regular at the George Formby Society in the UK where he also made many friends.
From the early days of the UkuHooley/Dun Laoghaire Ukulele Club Tommy was a cheerful presence each Saturday morning and was always ready to help beginners with his knowledge, skills and kindness. He also was a regular at RUGS on Mondays and appeared on all the Ukulele Hooley Festival’s since 2009 when we began.
The ukulele community in Dublin will not be the same without Tommy, he was so warmly regarded and loved.
In the words of many of his friends “Tommy is a Legend!”
There are some great clips of Tommy on Youtube but I love this one of the early days in UkuHooley where Tommy is demonstrating one of his beloved Formby songs and is in his element.
Goodbye old friend, we’ll miss you but never forget you.
Well, Ukulele Hooley 2015 is almost upon us and it’s shaping up to be one of the best festivals yet!
In just two weeks time ukulele players from all over Ireland will be be meeting up with fellow ukers from abroad in Dun Laoghaire for a weekend of ukulele fun, music, singing and jamming.
All the hotel & guesthouse accommodation in Dun Laoghaire have been fully booked up since early in the year.
This year’s festival has all the usual events and elements that have made the Ukulele Hooley one of the most friendly and popular ukulele festivals in Europe and we hope you’ll be able to come along and join in the Aloha spirit of the weekend.
The Ukulele Workshops
The weekend kicks off on Saturday morning 22nd of August with some fantastic ukulele workshops by some of the most highly regarded ukulele Maestros but all of the workshops are accessible to anyone who has been playing in a club or group or just playing at home by yourself so grab this opportunity to hone your ukulele playing skills. The workshops are all listed on the festival website so check them out.
Ukulele Hooley Bus Busk
The Ukulele Hooley Bus Busk is a load of fun and makes for one of the highlights of the weekend. It always sells out quickly – and there are only a few seats left (it had actually sold out but we “found” 6 more) so don’t miss out book now!
Ukulele Hooley Open Mic
The Open Mic happens on the seafront in Dun Laoghaire and its your opportunity to perform that song you’ve been working on in front of a highly receptive and encouraging audience of fellow ukers. Its an experience you’ll always remember!
Ukulele Hooley Festival Club
The festival club will start at 9pm in the Oak Room Bar at the Kingston Hotel and runs until late. There will be ukulele playing, singing, performing and jamming until the early hours and plenty of time for nattering and catching up with old friends (not to mention making new uke ones!).
The Big Ukulele Concert in the People’s Park
Its the highlight of the whole weekend, 7 hours of fantastic ukulele bands, groups, soloists from all over the World will be performing in lovely setting of the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire. The show starts at twelve noon and runs until 7pm in the evening. There’s a wonderful lineup this year and you can see them all here on the Artists Page of the Ukulele Hooley website. We’ve really pleased to be able to feature more Irish ukulele performers this year.
The concert in the park has become a big day out for families and last year over 15,000 people came through the People’s Park gates during the day. Its a great opportunity to see some of the world’s most entertaining and accomplished ukulele musicians and performers and its a lot of fun.
Children’s & Beginners Lessons in the Park
There will be children’s and beginners ukulele lessons in the People’s Park on Sunday afternoon and they will happen in a special area at 3pm . The lessons will be given bySheilagh Fox (founder Rugs). Sheilagh is a very experienced and entertaining teacher who runs her own ukulele training school, Sheilagh’s Ukulele School
Uke Raffle in the Park
Every year some of our kind sponsors donate some beautiful ukuleles as prizes for the Festival raffle. This year we have some stunning instruments so make sure to get your tickets on the day to give yourself the opportunity of going home with the instrument of your dreams.
Sunday Night At The Festival Club
Finally don’t forget the Sunday Night Festival Club at the Oak Room at Oliveto at the Kingston hotel. Its the night we say goodbye to all our new ukulele friends and get together for the final night of Ukulele Hooley 2015.
We hope to see you at the festival over the weekend and if you could also go on to our Facebook page and “like” and “share” our posts for the festival, you will be helping to spread the word.
The Ukulele Hooley is a completely voluntary non profit festival for the ukulele community in Ireland and is funded by a grant from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
So see you all at the Hooley Folks!
Next Saturday a special train leaves Dublin for Castlebar. but this is no ordinary train, it will be filled with happy & enthusiastic ukulele players who have been invited to Castlebar to play at the annual “Dancing At The Crossroads”. There is a great buzz in Castlebar about the Ukulele Train and the visiting ukers.
The ukulele train has been organised by Sheilagh Fox of RUGS ukulele group in Rathfarnham and founder member of the Flukey Ukes who will also be playing at “Dancing At The Crossroads”.
There is a special Ukulele Train Songbook so there will be lots of strumming and singing aboard the train.
Over the weekend there are a number of ukulele workshops to cater for all levels of playing and of course there will be lots of jamming and performances by the Flukey Ukes. So if you’re looking for something exciting and fun to do this weekend then grab your uke and join the Ukulele Train.
All the details can be found on the Ukulele Train Facebook page:
Ukulele player Brendan Byrne is the force behind the Ballyroan Ukulele Club and last October he set himself the goal of running the Dublin City Marathon whilst playing and singing with his ukulele.
Now the Dublin City Marathon is 42 kms so running it is no mean feat – never mind while playing the uke! But having set himself this challenge Brendan managed to pull it off in fine style, a heroic achievement by anyone’s standard!
This is Brendan’s own account of his experience.
At 9:00 am, with my ukulele hanging around my neck by a cord, I warmed up, while jogging on the spot, at Fitzwilliam Square with Molly Malone in the key of C. Some of my fellow participants thought I was just going to play a few songs at the start and then go home. I quickly assured them that I intended to go the distance, all 42 kilometres, whilst playing the ukulele.
At 9:20 we got underway and I persuaded the naysayers that I meant business, giving them the “The Wild Colonial Boy”. I repeated “Molly Malone” as my audience was constantly changing.
By now we were coming to The Coombe and sure what more appropriate song for The Coombe than “Biddy Mulligan, the Pride of the Coombe”. Fellow participants were joining in as best they could between their laughs of incredulity.
“The Dublin Saunter” brought us up the Quays and in nearly no time at all we were into the Phoenix Park. While passing the Dublin Zoo I played the first verse of “The Zoological Gardens”. Half way up Chesterfield Avenue somewhere close to the Áras I came across a participating French couple, d’un certain age, from where else but France. So out of my repertoire I plucked “La Mer”, en francais, from start to finish, which they very much appreciated.
Out of the top of the Park and into Castleknock I came to the best audience of the day. Hundreds lined the roads and I played “Heartbeat” for them and lots of them joined in. Back into the Park and around by the Furry Glen I had to play “Take Her Up to Monto”, “They say the Duke of Gloucester, the dirty oul’ imposter, he took a mot and lost her in the Furry Glen”.
UkuHooley in Dun Laoghaire is really pleased to welcome a group of 28 members of the King’s College London Ukulele Society to a special “hands across the water” meetup on Saturday next 28th March. To accommodate our visiting ukers as well as our own members this special meetup is happening at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.
So welcome to James Chong and all his friends from King’s College and wishing you a happy and enjoyable trip to Dublin this weekend.
(ps: This week’s meetup is fully subscribed as we had to let the hotel know the final numbers attending in advance- sorry!)