UPC Year in Review

From September 2018 through September 2019, Ukulele Player Club (UPC) and it’s members have continued with it’s core value of sharing the music, joys, knowledge and friendship that playing the ukulele by engaging in numerous ukulele related activities. All by just sitting, smiling, singing and of course, strumming.

As you read below you can see we’ve had a very busy year. The time seems to pass so quickly. We used all twelve months and numerous locations in and outside the Villages to share the ukulele.

Thank you so much for your commitment, dedication and hard work. Indeed, a job well done.

• In September the UPC Performance Group participated in the 2018 Villages Parks and Recreation Department’s Villages Music Showcase at Savannah Center. 40 UPC members participated in this exciting event with 18 singing.

• In September the UPC was awarded 12 Cordoba CM-15 Concert Ukuleles with tuners and gig bags from the Cordoba Cares Program. The donations are for use in the UPC classes and Summer Youth Camp.

• On October 14th Ukulele Player Club members participated in the 10th Year Anniversary of Ukulele in the Villages at the Lake Miona Recreation Center. Our own Warren Webb, a founding leader of the UPC, was honored on his retirement from the leadership position with accolades and honorariums. Many UPC members attended to honor Warren.

o UPC Performance Group singers performed with enthusiasm and talent.
o UPC member Diane did a spectacular job with over 100 photos of the UPC participation in the event. The pictures are on the UPC Web Page.

• In December the UPC Performance Group, with Dennis as our leader, and at the request of the Villages Parks and Recreation Department, produced, directed and  supported, along with the UPC membership, the 2nd Annual Ukulele on the Square at Sumter Landing with and estimated 300 ukulele players and . All the seats were filled and there were numerous spectators standing to watch the UPC members teach, coach and play with over 40 new ukulele players. Thank you all for your support and
participation. The Event and the UPC participation received media attention from both radio and print media.

• On January 2nd UPC members presented a Youth Ukulele Class for the youth of the Young Artist Performance Group at the Alonzo A Young, Sr. Historical & Enrichment Center in Royal, Wildwood. Each youth was mentored by a UPC Volunteer and the class was presented by Dennis. (Photos are on the Web Page). On January 4 UPC members who mentored the youth at the Youth Ukulele Class for the youth of Young Artist Performance Group performed with their students at the awards ceremony for the youth at the Alonzo A Young, Sr. Historical & Enrichment Center in Royal, Wildwood.

• The UPC weekly Quick Start, Quick Start II and Next Step classes continued with Claire, Vinnie, Dennis and Tim were well attended and popular. Chris joined the fun as a substitute for Vinnie.

• UPC member donations made it possible to purchase more loaner ukuleles for our ukulele education programs, including Summer Youth Camp.

• Jean revamped the UPC Song Book adding fifteen new songs and harvesting previous songs. Loaner Books were also updated.

• Jean and John continued reformatting our song book into Forscore which enables a bigger, clearer picture on the wall for our sessions.

• UPC’s monthly Vinnie’s Rock Shop presented about 150 songs to the UPC membership from September 2018 through September 2019. These songs are not in the UPC Song Book and Vinnie researched the materials at the request of the separate UPC member singers and presented them on the wall for all to sing.

o While the Rock Shop was on hiatus during July and August, UPC presented Dennis’ Hits of the Villages, in which members of the other ukulele clubs in the Villages were invited to present some of their song materials to the UPC.

• In June and July Dennis led UPC member volunteers at the 2019 Villages Parks and Recreation Department’s Villages Youth Summer Camp Ukulele Class through three sessions with 20 children in each class in the months of June and July.

o UPC member Chris donated three new ukuleles to be given away at each session.

• UPC members Tim and Linda continued to present the very well received and rated Villages Enrichment Academy’s two ukulele based courses “Ukulele in the Villages: An Introduction” and “Ukulele in the Villages: Next Step.”

• In February, the UPC again hosted world renowned ukulele instructor Stuart Fuchs of Ukulele Zen, for a three hour workshop, "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE...AND A UKULELE" in the Laurel Manor Recreation Center. UPC members provided the personnel for the workshop that hosted 100 attendees.

• Through the year the UPC Performance Group appeared in contracted performances for Villages social and neighborhood organizations. These included:

o The Lynchburg Loopers Social Club, the Central States Club, The Tennessee Club, The Coast Guard Club, Bradenton Friends, Maine-Vermont Club, Louisiana Club, Kaylee Social Club, Friends of Oswego, Ill., P.E.O. Group, W. Michigan Shore Liners, Elizabeth Villas Club, British American Club, the Villages Golf Cart Drill Team, the Springdale East Social Club, Villages Table Tennis Club, Alonzo A Young, Sr. Historical & Enrichment Center, Peoria, Illinois Club, The New Jersey Club, Harbor Chase Residences.
o All these organizations made contributions to the Wildwood Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and the Our Mother of Mercy Food Pantry in the name of the Ukulele Players Club.
o Due to space issues, limited numbers of the UPC Performance Group performed quarterly programs for the residents at the Summerfield Suites and Freedom Point Residences.

• Throughout the year, UPC members also participated in performances with other Village music clubs including: The Villages Voices, The Villages Pops Chorus, Sparkey’s Strummers, The Hummers and Strummers “Mike Ryan’s Banjolele Club, The Peace, Love and Ukuleles Performance Group, the Beatlemaniacs
and the Silver Strummers.

• During the peak occupancy period, December, January, February and March the UPC, utilizing both open sing sessions and the class segments, serviced about 150
Village Ukulele Players (and hopefuls) per weekly meeting. Your cooperation and assistance makes sharing this wonderful instrument possible.

• Throughout the year UPC member Eugene was able to capture on video many of the UPC performances, much to the delight of members. The videos are posted here.  Please thank Eugene when you see him.

• The UPC Web Page has continued to grow and evolve thanks to Jean and other UPC members. The UPC is now able to reach around the globe with the activities and dedication of our members. The Web Page is under weekly updating to keep all aware of thee great activities.

We look forward to the next full year of Ukulele Players Club activities. We are scheduling more performances and adding some other exciting performance and educational programs. Please feel free to suggest your ideas, we may not be able to accommodate all of them but with your help, we will try to keep moving forward.

Jean, Tim and Dennis