In even years the Newcastle ukulele community hosts the Newkulele Festival. In odd years the Newkulele Festival Committee has a well earned rest, and we (The Sum of the Parts (music) – TSOTP) hold a mini festival featuring our ukestras and choirs. In 2023 we tried something new – two stages!
Stage One was for the 9 weekly ukestras and choirs that forms the backbone of our community and our vocation.
Stage Two featured a variety of acts, all of whom have met through these ukestras and choirs.
The 2023 Ukestra and Choir Showcase was a spectacular success, in both musical and community terms. It was exactly what we dreamed it would be. Around 220 performers, audience, friends and family gathered at the Adamstown Uniting Church Hall on Saturday night 29 July for a three room mini-festival. Everyone brought a plate and the foyer was a veritable cornucopia of food, drink, chat and camaraderie.
The main room (the church) featured 7 ukestras from the Lower Hunter and the combined 40 person choir of Ukestral Voices. The Memorial Hall was set up in a Club Lounge style featuring the small offshoot groups that naturally arise in a healthy musical community.
The two concert venues allowed for a night of continuous music, with one venue performing whilst the other got set up for the next group.
We (Mark and Jane from TSOTP) worked ginormously hard to make this a smooth functioning success, and are, of course pleased as punch that it was an incredible community music event. But it couldn’t have been a success without most people chipping in some volunteer time.
Thanks to Maurie Voisey-Barlin for his superb MC’ing position across both venues. Nigel, Ruth, Sam, John, Ken and Pip, Kris Fegent.
Monday Night Ukestra
There is little question that, these days, Monday Night is the technical top dog of all the ukestras at The Sum of the Parts. No wonder there was an air of expectation at the 2023 Showcase. The instrumental, Malagueña, was a bold opener. Amity follows with a heartfelt piece by Corin Raymond – I Wish I Was in Love. Carol and Nigel lead an old blues song, Deep Ellem Blues. Finally, Caroline, recently returned from a triumphant performance at the World Choir Games in South Korea with the Newcastle Chamber Choir graces us with her voice on the Black Keys’ Gold on the Ceiling.