The third month of a “Night of 1,000 Ukuleles” happened on St. Patrick’s Day. I guess everybody was at a pub somewhere drinking green beer. Four of us (out of 1,000) were there strumming and singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” and more. We had fun and had a chance to talk, sing, play.
We won’t be having a Night of 1,000 Ukuleles in April because that is a squirrely month. Folks have lots of deadlines and plans for travel. Maybe we’ll try again in September. Or maybe we need to try a different type of meetup for learning and playing the ukulele.
I attended a Flute Circle group the night before the Night of 1,000 Ukuleles last week. The flute circles occur all over the U.S. and there are listservs (in some cases 10 year old listservs) where the virtual gatherings occur. There’s even an international flute circle listserv. I think the ukulele has more blogs and discussion boards than listservs on the Web. But ukulele on the Web is a more recent development. It looks like NAS flute gatherings rushed to the Web in earlier days when listservs were the established mode of communication.
At the face-to-face flute circles, people gather to play the Native American Style Flute and talk about the flutes they are making. The group I was at was very interesting. Folks brought some of the flutes they were building. Beautiful wood. Beautiful songs. Some of the discussion at the flute circle was what night of the week is best to meet and where can we meet that will be comfortable and encourage everyone to come out. These are some of the same questions I have for establishing a local ukulele group.
I come to the conclusion that unless there is a festival, a specific time and place that does not occur every month, it is hard to get folks together to play music. The scattered and busy lives we lead. It is in some ways much easier to get together over the Internet — with our different time zones — but our common interests in the ukulele.
To all those who came out, sang and played for Night of 1000 Ukuleles — Thanks. I enjoyed getting to meet you and maybe we’ll get together again. In the meantime keep your ukulele perspective.