Bayside Ukes Sessions Update

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout Bayside Ukes has decided to cease our sessions at the Hampton Community Centre from Term 2 until the beginning of 2022 when most people will have been vaccinated.

We encourage everyone to keep playing your ukuleles and hope you all stay well.

Bayside Ukes COVID-19 Update

Covid-19 restrictions were eased for everyone in Victoria on the 26th of February 2021.  

The main one for ukulele groups is that people do not need to wear a mask while singing as long as they are socially distanced.  For Bayside Ukes members this means that you can sing as long as you are seated two metres apart and in rows facing the same direction.

You still may wear a mask if you wish.

Members also need to bring their own songbooks and music stand as we will be socially distanced.

All the other measures listed in the previous post remain the same.

Keep on strumming.

Kat

Bayside Ukes: Back for 2021

Bayside Ukes is back next Tuesday, February 9, from 7 to 9.30 PM at the Hampton Community Centre to resume our regular sessions for 2021. We hope that all our members are ready to enjoy real life playing again.

Under our strong Covid-Safe plan, based on State Government rules and recommendations, only 21 people at a time will be able to attend a session in the HCC Main Hall. Participation is only available to members of Bayside Ukes and not casual visitors. 

If you wish to join our group you will need to become a 2021 member of the Hampton Community Centre for insurance purposes. Please contact Bayside Ukes via email for details of membership. See right menu for our email address.

Due to the restrictions on the number of attendees, members must book their place each week via email, on a first come, first served basis.

When attending a session, everyone must wear a mask indoors at all times and maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres.

On entry to the HCC participants must register their details for contact tracing using the Centres QR code. If you don’t have a smartphone, make sure you have your own pen to sign in manually.

Seating will be spaced following government guidelines.

Everyone will need their own copies of our two song books (see menu above) and a music stand, as there will be no sharing of music and equipment. Also no-one may play any wind instruments.

During a song only five members at a time will be allowed to sing and must keep on their masks. We will take turns at singing.

There will be no sharing of food and drink. Please bring your own water bottle.

Cleaning procedures will be mandatory for all attendees.

Do not attend a session if you are unwell.

All the above Covid-Safe measures are for everyone’s protection. We want our members to have an enjoyable experience playing together while staying healthy. 

We look forward to a time when these steps will no longer be necessary. In the meantime we will do our best to make our sessions as fun as possible.

Keep on strumming,

Kat

UKULELE (COVID) NORMAL: BRING ON 2021

Most of the lockdown restrictions have finally eased in Melbourne this week. We have reached the Covid Normal status that everyone was hoping for until a vaccine is readily available here in Oz. Let’s hope it stays this way. We still need to carry and wear face masks when necessary, but summer is here and now everything is looking much brighter.

Bayside Ukes will resume sessions for regular members in 2021 when the Hampton Community Centre will reopen. We will have a Covid-Safe plan as per health regulations to keep everyone safe.

Now is the time to enjoy our well earned holidays, whether staying at home or visiting parts of our beautiful country. Don’t forget to play your ukuleles whereever you may be this summer.

If you are under lockdown in the Northern Hemisphere, take heart from us Melbournians. We got through it and so will you. Our ukulele Zoom sessions were a big help, thanks to the good humour and contributions of all our wonderful members, who kept Bayside Ukes running through difficult times. Keep playing your ukuleles. It makes a difference.

Wishing everyone a Very Happy Festive Season and let’s hope that 2021 brings Peace and Joy to all.

Stay safe and keep strumming,

Kat

Here’s the fun Aussie Christmas Song by Robin Bates full of cliches, Melbourne sporting references and Aussie humour about the silly season down under. It would sound good on ukulele.

When can Ukulele Groups Resume Sessions During Covid-19?

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The Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne is now easing and soon many activities will begin again. While this will be great for community groups, we at Bayside Ukes think that there is a need to proceed with caution before starting back at the Hampton Community Centre due to the increased hazard of contracting Covid-19 from the mechanics of group singing. There is a higher risk of contracting the virus in an enclosed space. 

For those who are unaware of these health risks, the following video gives detailed health and scientific advice from experts with regard to group singing in an Australian context. This information is also applicable to anyone singing in a group during this pandemic. The video takes about an hour but it is worth viewing for health and safety reasons.

The main recommendation is that singing groups should not get together inside until there have been no new local cases of Covid-19 for at least one month. Bayside Ukes will be following the advice of these experts and we look forward to such a time when we will be able to play together in the real world.

We will update the calendar on this blog before we resume our sessions depending on the rate of transmission of the virus in Melbourne.

In the meantime, here is a fun video by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain of Kraftwerk’s The Model (RIP Florian Schneider).

Stay safe and keep on strumming.

Kat

Anzac Day Under Lockdown: There is always Your Ukulele

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Tomorrow Australians and New Zealanders remember our service men and women on Anzac Day. This year it will be very strange without the usual marches and dawn ceremonies held in our countries and at war memorials overseas, but these are challenging times.

With everyone under Pandemic lockdown we are being encouraged to commemorate the dawn service in our driveways this year.  Those who are able to play brass instruments are being asked to perform the Last Post for their neighbours. Here is a link to the ABC News website which gives ideas on how to participate in this historic event from your home.

While the ukulele is not suitable for the Last Post, you can still play some songs for the occasion in your home or backyard later in the day and have a sing-a-long with your family or house mates. This website has suggestions in previous posts about war songs made for past Anzac or Remembrance Day commemorations. Just look in the archives for posts in April or November.

One of the most powerful Australian songs about war is Redgum’s I Was Only 19, which is about an Australian soldier’s experiences in the Vietnam War. If you have never heard this song before, the following video features Redgum’s original version played over contemporary war footage of the Australian troops in Vietnam.

I have been unable to find a ukulele cover but here is a link to the ukulele chords, so you can play this song tomorrow.

I Was Only 19

However you commemorate the day, wishing everyone a safe Anzac Day.

Keep on Strumming,

Kat

We Will Survive: Ukulele Play-Along Song

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Bayside Ukes regret to announce that, given the seriousness of the Covid-19 virus Emergency in Victoria, we will not be running sessions until further notice, out of respect for the health of our older members and those with chronic health conditions.

This has been a difficult decision, but we are not the only ukulele group in Melbourne to take this step and it will be hard on us all to temporarily give up our group sessions, which we really enjoy.

We must not let this get us down and everyone should carry on with ukulele practice at home to stay sane during this crisis. With that in mind here is a fun ukulele play-along challenge to help you stay strong and give that virus the boot!

If you find some of these chords difficult try to search for an easier version through google.

I will continue with this blog to share any ukulele songs and tips.

Wishing everyone in the ukulele community the very best and hope you all stay well.

Keep on Strumming.

Kat

Working Songs on Ukulele

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Melbourne and the Yarra River

From March 6 -9 the Moomba Festival is held in Melbourne. It is Australia’s largest free festival, with all kinds of events held around the Yarra River and the Moomba Parade on the final Monday (9 March). This occurs on the second Monday in March which is also the Labour Day public holiday in Victoria and commemorates the introduction of the eight hour day for workers.

This festival is all about getting together and having fun and what better way than to have fun with you ukulele and celebrate by playing songs about workers. Here are a few good examples.

The Beatles A Hard Days Night is a classic of this genre. This ukulele version by Neil Starr does the song justice with some great vocals.

The following is Uke Boy’s version of Sheena Easton’s Morning Train. Such a beautiful melody that is just made for the ukulele.

If work is getting you down Fifth Harmony’s Work From Home is wonderfully escapist. Enjoy this lovely ukulele version by EMAYLA.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s seventies hit, Taking Care of Business has been given a fun twist on ukulele and unicycle by C J Hoyle.  Would love to see this in the Moomba Parade.

There are other great working songs that I could not find a ukulele version on You Tube, such as Roy Orbison’s Working for The Man or Australian band Cold Chisel’s Working Class Man, but I’m sure that you would be able to find online music for many working songs that are suitable for the ukulele.

The ukulele as an instrument of the people is just made for such material.  It is a great way to bring joy to your working day and makes every day a festival.

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Moomba 2019

Happy Labour Day!

Kat

Bayside Ukes Back for 2020

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Next week (Tuesday 28 January) Bayside Ukes sessions begin for 2020 from 7 PM at the Hampton Community Centre. It will be great to get together again to play our ukuleles and sing.

Now is the time to brush up on the songs we did last year and be ready to tackle some new material.

There is nothing like a bit of ukulele madness to make you feel good so come along. We look forward to welcoming any new members. (For more information see our About page).

Kat

Bayside Ukes at the Sandy Village Festival 2019

Bayside Ukes Sandy Village Festival 2019

Bayside Ukes members had a wonderful time performing at the Sandy Village Festival last Sunday. Despite the slight drizzle, the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Thank you to everyone in the group for their hard work. Another big thank you to our terrific audience and to all the group members, family and friends who came to see our performance.

Finally we would like to thank the Sandringham Village Traders for including us in their music line-up. Bayside Ukes really appreciates their support and we are glad to be a part of such  a great festival.

Below are a couple of videos from our performance. More can be found on Bayside Ukes You Tube channel by clicking here.

Kat