Tuesday April 15th the Dover Uke Heads held a Country and Western theme song night at the Grace United Church. We had a lot of fun dressing up, singing old western songs, and even watched a skit by “guest ukers” Donna Jean (Cheryl) and Ellie May (Cat). One of our beginners from last year found the gumptshun to get up in front of everyone and perform a song, and Peter was joined by Glenda’s son who did some improve solo-ing on his tenor.
There was a bit of the luck of the Irish in some of the Dover Uke Heads this Tuesday night. We held a theme song night in honour of Saint Patrick’s Day, and shared lots of Irish songs together on the uke.
We played I’ll Tell Me Ma, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, attempted Oh Danny Boy, which came out better than expected, and ran through some others such as Molly Malone, That’s An Irish Lullabye (Too ra loo ra) and the traditional version of Whiskey in the Jar.
As you can see from the pictures below, there was more Irish in some of us than others! And I’m not sure exactly what was going on between Ian, with his green bow tie and his Scottish kilt (???), and girlfriend Mandy, but we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!
Never a dull moment on any Tuesday night when DUH plays at the Grace United Church.
Never let it be said that the Dover Uke Heads are not a generous, giving AND fun-loving bunch!
Starting in January our group has been busy practicing set list songs and playing out for various organizations. We began with the Simcoe & District Horticultural Society on January 8th, then entertained the residents at Parkview Meadows in Townsend at their Hawaiian Luau party on January 24th.
But the fun didn’t stop there as we also visited the residents at Dover Cliffs here in our home town of Port Dover at the end of February. The next week found us playing on the stage in our own Grace United Church on March 4th – Shrove Tuesday – for their annual pancake supper. Next week we will be playing for the residents of Delhi Long-term Care. What these three performances have in common, is that DUH is volunteering to play. We love to entertain, but we also acknowledge that many nursing homes just don’t have the funds to provide “extras” like musical entertainment for their residents. And the Grace United Church has been so good to us this past first year, that we decided to return the sentiment by entertaining the diners at their pancake supper. (Proceeds from the supper went towards sending Sunday school children to United Church camp this summer.)
Here are some shots of us and the diners at the church on March 4th, taken by Gerrie’s hubby Ron:
We have a bit of a break for the rest of March and April, but we are picking up the pace again in the months of May and June. Our calendar already holds some exciting upcoming performances such as Parkview Meadows again, Cedarwood Village, the Port Dover Yacht Club Hawaiian Luau, the Relay for Life on June 6th, the Norwich Ontario Retirees Camp-out, and the Father’s Day jam at the Crepe House. Whew! We also have a new invitation which we are very excited about. The Port Dover Lions Club has asked us to play an hour on the stage this year for the Canada Day festivities held in Silver Lake Park. What an honour! Peter is already testing out some Canadian songs for us to play! Hope to see you there!
“Aloha Uke Heads!” That’s what most of my emails to the uke club start out with: it’s cheerful and full of love! After a short break away from playing ukulele on Tuesday nights at the Grace, we realized we had booked a performance for Wednesday January 8th for the Simcoe & District Horticultural Society. One of our original members from 2011 had booked us way back in September. But truthfully, we were so focused on playing out on December 8,10 and 11, and holding our annual Christmas party the week after, that we plum forgot. No worries though, our faithful DUH’s came through and we put together a new set list over the weekend and played it that night. For a peek at the line-up, please click on the Songs tab on this website.
About a week before we started up at the Grace with Ukulele Night again, I (Cat) got an email via our website Contact page, from a fella called Don Grunston. He wanted to attend with a few friends on January 14th. I replied back with, “The more the merrier,” and, “our doors are open to one and all,” etc. in my usual cavalier attitude. A couple of days beforehand we got a Friend request for our Facebook Group, “DUH – Dover Uke Heads”, from this same fellow, Don Grunston. If you look on Facebook, you will discover that he is the leader of the Hamilton Ukulele Conspiracy, so if you were wondering if there were any uke groups in Hamilton, now you have your answer. But! Don’t bother doing an internet search for the Hamilton Ukulele Conspiracy’s website – you won’t find one! (Get it?)
We had a really great visit with the fellas from Hamilton, who were Don Grunston, Paul Yedema, one of Peter’s uke buddies from Corktown, and Don’s uke group members Dan and Jeff Seffinga. Jeff Seffinga we recognized immediately from a previous visit in September when he came looking to buy tickets for the Jim and Liz Beloff event, and ended up staying for Ukulele Night. Gee, I wonder if Jeff had put some influence on Don Grunston to come down to Port Dover for the night?!
Our first night back was a fun success. We are starting to get our Events Schedule settled and we just have to decide on when we will hold some theme nights in April and May. For a full line-up of our upcoming performances and theme nights, please click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website.
Dover Uke Heads held their 3rd Annual Potluck Christmas Party last Tuesday, on December 17th. Attendance was good, although we were missing Stew and Val who had already left for Hawaii on Friday. What a great potluck: there was lots of great food to be tasted, from appetizers to main courses, salads and deserts. Everyone seemed happy and festive.
This party is also a chance for us to meet everyone’s better halfs, the husbands and wives who put up with us playing our ukes at home at all hours of the day and night, probably in the bathroom, and serenading anyone who will listen with the current set list songs being worked on. So great to meet all these highly tolerant people, LOL!
As per usual, we barely had the tables cleared off when we all wanted to start in playing our songs, and we kept it up until 9 p.m. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone to braved the slippery road conditions to show up at the Grace United Church that night. This was our last meet-up until we start back in January on the 14th. In the mean time, I hope everyone has a Holly Jolly Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Dover Uke Heads entertained at the Vittoria Women’s Institute in Vittoria Old Town Hall on Wednesday December the 11th. We decided to do have it as a “Sing Along” and these ladies could really sing! We took turns with the Women’s Institute singing verses and chorus’ of several songs, and many of them told us afterwards what a good time they had. We were invited to share a turkey dinner with them beforehand and these ladies really know how to put out a spread of food! So not only did we have a good time playing ukulele and singing Christmas songs with them, but we shared a great meal with them, too, making this performance one of the most notable ones of all 2013!
Enjoy the slideshow!
The Simcoe Probus Club was graced with our presence on Tuesday December the 10th, when we provided entertainment for their annual Christmas luncheon and party. One of our members, Uke Head Dick Pearson is a member of that organization, and through some fast-talking and distracting slight of hand, managed to convince them to hire us. We managed to run through our entire Christmas set list, including three extra songs: Old Cow Hand, Locomotion and Let’s Twist Again, Like We Did Last Christmas. Something different we did this year was to produce copies of a song sheet with just the words to our set list songs in order, called Sing Along With the Dover Uke Heads, and we handed these out to everyone so they could sing along with us as we performed the songs. It seemed to go over pretty well. There was only one gentleman who told me the type size was too small, but he turned his chair around so he could face the stage and sing along with us regardless.
After the finale song, Peter heard someone call out “Encore” – ha, ha, ha – so we gave them our version of Walkin’ My Baby Back Home.
We all enjoyed ourselves and had a very nice time with the Probus Club, but feedback the following day revealed that one or two of their members had teared up during Peter’s rendition of Blue Christmas. Therefore and once again, we have decided that we probably should never do that song out in public again. (This is the second time that’s happened!)
Enjoy the slide show!
Sunday December 8th was an exciting day for DUH. We played a couple of songs of the Theatre’s Christmas Concert, run primarily by the organizer of the Gentlemen of Harmony, Ray Danley.
It was a very nice concert for the first half, with nice, harmonious and sometimes gospel songs. Watching the show from the balcony, it wasn’t long before Cat declared to Peter, “We are going to rock this place today!” and we were right! Our songs were not the usual Christmas songs, we chose the Chipmunk Song (Please Christmas Don’t Be Late), and Mele Kalikimaka! Well, we got the biggest laugh from the audience, and some appreciative clapping, when we broke out the kazoos for the Chipmunk Song. They loved it!!! And Peter introduced Mele Kalikimaka as the song that is played in the movie Christmas Vacation in the scene where Chevy Chase is staring out the kitchen window, fantasizing over a summer pool…. Our enthusiasm and sense of fun for both songs really transferred over to the audience.
Everyone who showed up Sunday should be really proud of themselves for the job well done, and we had a good time doing it too. This was the first time we had to memorize the songs because we were unable to bring music stands and sheet music onto the stage with us, so that is another feather in our cap. Add great leadership by Peter to that and lots of lots of practice, and we will be sure to put on a good show every time!
Enjoy the slide show! Ian Bell had graciously offered to take the pictures for us, from the balcony.
Saturday, November 16th was another proud day for the Dover Uke Heads. We won First place, again, for Best Non-Commercial Float in the Port Dover Board of Trade’s Santa Claus Parade. Every single DUH who showed up should be really proud of themselves and each other for all of the hard work involved to put the float together and decorate it. In addition to which, everyone on the float enjoyed themselves and was enthusiastic while playing our two songs, Jingle Bells and Rudolph. Over and over again.
We had a good spot in the line-up too, because Judy’s son was the Parade Marshall this year, and he made sure we weren’t right behind that really noisy marching band, the United Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps.
Our float this year had some new additions: a green foliage deer on the tail of the float, surrounded by presents on a bed of white pine boughs. Also, green and red balloons were added, and Judy brought something else we won’t tell you about. Almost everyone wore red, except Peter: he wore his authentic Newfoundland cap, his Hudson’s Bay coat, his bugle kazoo, and carried his vintage Martin uke. His “oldest ukulele friend” showed up from Hamilton, Bryan Ames. Rick Eller was in good spirits as well, although he had NO IDEA that we were all coming to his surprise birthday party later on that evening!
Mayor Dennis Travale presented us with our certificate for placing this year, and I have to say that I think this was the biggest turn-out for the parade in Port Dover that I have seen yet. Each year the crowd seems to get a little bit bigger and the number of floats in the parade seems to be increasing. And that is a good thing, for Port Dover and for Norfolk County!
So a big THANK YOU to Jan Overend and her staff at the Port Dover Board of Trade, for another successful Santa Claus parade!
October 24 to 27 the 5th International Ukulele Ceilidh (pronounced “caylee”) was held in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Several members of DUH attended this year, and some with their pets and family members. Peter, Lisa, and Jenny all flew out to Halifax, while Cat drove out with Jeff and her family, and Mandy and Ian drove the week before on vacation with their tow-trailor. Mandy and Ian had taken their retriever along, and after the Ceilidh they took Jenny with them for the drive back to Ontario. Cat’s daughter’s Sam and Holly had a great time exploring White Point Beach Resort, where the workshops for the Ceilidh took place, enjoying the heated indoor pool, the games room and feeding the bunnies that populate the resort.
On both Friday and Saturday night concerts were held at the Astor Theatre in the town of Liverpool. Each concert showcased some of the professional ukulele players who taught the workshops and make their living as performers and recording artists. Following each concert, jam sessions were held back at the White Point Resort with James Hill, Ralph Shaw, Chalmers Doane and some of his family members, Lil’ Rev, and Ukulele Bartt. The MC of the entire Ceilidh was a great guy named Dan Scanlan (who made a brief appearance in the movie, the Mighty Uke). Dan also organized and lead the open mic sessions that were held each day from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Ukulele performers who have paid the Dover Uke Heads a visit for workshops and performances were also there: Manitoba Hal Brolund, and Ralph Shaw. *Mandy and Ralph got to sing a song together at one of the jam sessions held after the concerts.
Also this year, Peter has commented to us that he noticed that a lot more ukulele players from other Uke groups in Ontario were in attendance. For example, Norm and Elaine Ruplen were there to occupy tables in the vendors room, selling ukes and books, and a number of players from their group String Along attended. We also met a couple of very friendly folks from Germany and a lady named Kathleen from Toronto, who played a great version of Squeeze Box at Dan’s open mic.
The open mic sessions are different from the concerts. This is where any one who wants to play and sing a song for the group of people there can put their name on the list for Dan to announce, get called up to the mic and do their thing. You get to hear songs from all kinds of genres from Country to Rock to Instrumental. A young 10-year old boy attended from Halifax to meet his ukulele idol James Hill, and performed instrumental pieces on his uke (the Uke March and the theme song to Super Mario Brothers). He might be the next ukulele virtuoso sensation!
Another highlight of the weekend was the concert put on by the uke group, The University of Maine at Machias, in the pub at Lane’s Privateer Inn in the town of Liverpool on Saturday afternoon from 4 til 6 p.m. This is one of the most eclectic uke groups you will ever see perform. Leader Gene Nichol is a music professor at the University campus, and shares his great knowledge of musical lore in his workshops and performances. His group boasts a repertoire of 1400 tunes in a massive binder performed on all types and sizes of ukuleles, a bass guitar, standing bass, percussion/drums, electric uke and of course, Gene’s forte, the saw. This all takes place in the cozy pub of the historic Lane’s Privateer Inn, where we also enjoyed the East Coast fare of scallops, clam chowder and local wine and beer.
A Note from Cat: The weather that weekend was cool and sunny, but we all had a chance to enjoy the beach, trails and beautiful scenery at the White Point Beach Resort. The main lodge was rebuilt in 2012 and boasts state of the art facilities, including a 5-star dining hall. Everyone there was pleasant and accommodating, and I’m very much looking forward to attending the next Ceilidh in 2015. I took my next hubby Jeff, who took 1000 pictures on his digital camera and filled up the memory card! Jeff is so friendly and curious that he befriended many of the participants and the locals where ever we went. Due to his friend-making skills I got to know Dan Scanlon’s wife Joanne, and her best friend Peggy. We spent 2 hours out on the patio drinking some drafts and having “smoke break” with them (I do not smoke), and heard some wonderful stories about Dan, ukulele functions, the Ukulele Ceilidh organizers and lots of other stuff. Peggy is one of those East Coasters that people like me, from Ontario, call “salt of the earth.” She was who she was, and if you didn’t like her or what she had to say, to heck with ya! That, combined with a heart of gold made her my favorite person there, hands down. It is Peggy’s design that you see on the bags, t-shirts, sweat-shirts and the letterhead for the International Ukulele Ceilidh. That is her logo. Another credit to Jeff is the visit we paid to the town of Liverpool on Saturday afternoon. He took us strait to the Visitor’s Information Center and chatted up the lady behind the counter there (who hails from England) and found out that we could visit 2 light houses, Moose Harbour, and the famous Brooklyn Seaside Cemetary, within a 12 km loop from the town, and that the town museum was holding a “Spook Walk” that evening for youths brave enough to enter. Since we were travelling with 2 youths who could only take so much ukulele-ing, this was the perfect event for Sam and Holly. They loved it. And just so you know, they were the 6th and 7th people to enter, but the 1st two to make it out without bailing – it was that scary!!! My last comment on this year’s trip regards the length of time to drive there: I don’t recommend it unless you are willing to stop and see some parks and historical points of interest along the way. It is a long and sometimes boring 20 hour drive.
Enjoy the slide show!