'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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News

  • June 20, 2016
    We were the not so mystery mystery guests on the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast show this morning. George, Peter and Leisa chatted with Chris about the right term for a ukulele player, playing a nano uke, the rise of the instrument and the correct song to play on ukulele in a music store! You can now listen again on the BBC iplayer for the next 29 days.
  • May 31, 2016
    On the 21st April 2016, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performed at a private 90th birthday party for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The event, which was closed to the press, was attended by immediate members of the royal family, and took place at Windsor Castle. The Orchestra is proud to have played by request for the longest reigning monarch in British history.
  • May 24, 2016
    The Ukes of GB are very happy to announce they will be touring in the US this December with a special seasonal show! This holiday season the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will ask the audience to add to the music by inviting them to participate in a ukulele play and sing along from their seats in the hall.
  • April 27, 2016
    At a sold-out Royal Festival Hall, London, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain made a guest appearance at an April Fools Day concert with full symphony orchestra under the baton of "the world's first classical music hooligan" Rainer Hersch.

The Ukes

 


The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, using instruments bought with loose change, which believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the Ukulele.

A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra is a funny, virtuosic, twanging, awesome, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the “bonsai guitar” and a menagerie of voices in a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. There are no drums, pianos, backing tracks or banjos, no pitch shifters or electronic trickery. Only an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling). Audiences have a good time with the Ukulele Orchestra. Going from Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Redding and Spaghetti Western soundtracks, the Orchestra takes us on “a world tour with only hand luggage” and gives the listener “One Plucking Thing After Another”.

Using instruments small and large, in high and low registers, whether playing intricate melodies, simple tunes, or complex chords, and sitting in chamber group format dressed in formal evening wear, the Orchestra uses the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom as it reveals unsuspected musical insights. Both the beauty and vacuity of popular and highbrow music are highlighted, the pompous and the trivial, the moving and the amusing. Sometimes a foolish song can touch an audience more than high art; sometimes music which takes itself too seriously is revealed to be hilarious. You may never think about music in the same way once you’ve been exposed to the Ukes’ depraved musicology.


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