New York Times posts about Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

nyt_gboThanks to Nick on the tip about the New York Times’ article covering the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.  I wonder if Sarah Lyall (writer) or her editor of NYT has ever been on YouTube and watched any of the fantastic ukulele videos — including several of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

I wonder if they’d “googled” ukulele  before writing the article.  I wonder if they think the ukulele revival is only in Great Britain or New Zealand or anywhere besides the United States?

That the prom occurred more than a month ago (Aug. 18/09)  and it has just made it as news in the U.S. saddens me. The headline references an old, long-ago ukulele performer when it could reference Jake Shimabukuro or Aldrine Guerra or IZ — some of the current American Heroes.

The past few years have brought many new faces, new songs, new techniques, approaches and venues.  Why did NYT move us so backward with that headline?

I was delighted when Al on Ukulele Hunt linked to the YouTube video of UOGB’s performance in a  recent post where he interviews Will Grove-White.  At the time when the UOGB  released their music  sheets of “Ode to Joy” with video lessons so folks could practice in preparation for the Prom, I’d gone and downloaded them. What impressive preparation.

After the prom, I’d tried to watch the videos of the event as posted on the BBC.  But the BBC doesn’t allow the streams to be seen in the United States.  Disappointed, I’d wondered about the event. Only to be delighted when Al posted the YT link.



It must have been an amazing thing to be with 1,000 people all plucking and strumming their ukuleles in Royal Albert Hall.  What magic. What perspective. What music  it must have been.

Thanks for the news about the news Nick. And thanks for the vid link and interview Al, and of course, thanks UOGB for the great idea.

Be sure to check out the wonderful photos here at the BBC’s prom site.

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3 Responses to New York Times posts about Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

  1. Al says:

    Thanks for the mention. The ukulele Prom DVD is already on my Christmas list.


  2. Jim T. says:

    Curiously, contemporary accounts of Tiny Tim rarely mention his instrumental skills and focus almost exclusively on his extraordinary persona. But his marriage on the Tonight show, which attracted what was up to that point the largest television audience ever, irrevocably identified the instrument and the performer. The fact is the ukulele has always struggled to be taken seriously. You can see that struggle reflected in Ernest Kaai’s introduction to his 1906 method, and in George Kia’s playing excerpts from “Il Trovatore” in a 1914 concert at the Gamut Club in Los Angeles.


  3. Pingback: Largest Ukulele Ensemble ever | Playing Ukulele

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