By August 2013 UCL was leading 2 levels of ukulele classes with around 24 people after making a bit of a splash on the Mersey grass roots music scene. The magic began at THRESHOLD FESTIVAL 2013, were they made their debut performance alongside the MERSEY BELLES who had also formed through connections with UCL. This was the turning point at which things seemed…different. Through hazy mist of nerves and the overwhelming sensation of stepping onto a stage knowing hundreds of people were staring, listening and longing for something to make them feel good. They got through unscathed and became instantly hooked.
OUR awesome award
The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of the trustees, "a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance". Their aim is simple: to award cash funds to "conserve, sustain, and support the worldwide ecosystem of awesomeness". There are now literally hundreds of these "Chapters" all over the globe offering micro pots of £500 or $1000 right now and anyone can apply so what you waiting for?
Performing as a ukulele group became highly addictive, and people started asking if there was anything similar for their children especially as the summer holidays were drawing near. We hatched the idea of a kids uke club and named it UKULOOPEAZ. One of our UCL members had read about the LIVERPOOL AWESOME AWARDS and suggested we apply, so we did, thinking nothing would probably come of it, but at least it would help us clarify our aims for the summer project.
We received a phone call from one of the trustees inviting us along to the presentation night an were actually in 2 minds about going, thinking they may just think we were daft (or loopy!), but we found the courage and but a presentation together on the day of the presentation. Turns out we were the daft ones for thinking negative about the idea as the AWESOME TRUSTEES thought it was totally AWESOME and presented us with a splendidly designed cheque that months Award! :)
The previous month, we had been sent two awesome Ukuleles by a eco-friendly ukulele manufacturing company over in China called SNAIL UKULELE. They'd heard about us, through our online presence, and simply loved what we were doing demanding that we join them on their SNAIL UKULELE WORLD TOUR by sending us two free, no strings attached (except the GCEA ones!) All they asked in return was for a few photos of us using them! The Snail ukuleles were fantastic and so we decided that the money would be best spent on buying more of them so that our young participants didn't have to splash out their own (parents) money, at least until they were certain that ukulele learning was for them.
The Ukuloopeaz summer club was a great success and resulted in the group writing and arranging a song about GERALDLINE Our Beauty Queen.
We now have over 60 members who regularly attend our ukulele classes on a weekly/termly basis and we are delighted to be starting up the UKULOOPEAZ full time for all 6 - 11 year olds on 24th September 2014.
Classes will take place on Wednesdays between 6-7pm at EASTFIELD DAY NURSERY in Aigburth, L17 4LH. We do have limited space so don't leave it to late and get registered by emailing us at: ukulele firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, to sum up what winning an AWESOME AWARD did for us: It gave us the funds for the instruments needed to enable us to promote the joyous effects of learning the inspirational little instrument that is the ukulele and enabled us to spread pure awesomeness far and wide.
What's next for UCL?
- UCL will be performing at SEFTON PARK BANDSTAND this Sunday 7th Sept at 3.15pm as part of the LIMF closing party.
- Our Musical Director will be partaking as judge at the MERSEY BELLES BUSK OFF WORKSHOP at the GNUF festival on 13th & 14 September at Huddersfield Town Centre.
- On Friday 19th Sept UCL will be busking for charity from 6pm at LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL at Sefton Park.
- Our new Absolute Beginners class (which is now full - sorry folks) will commence on Thursday 18th September at JOHN ARCHER HALL just off Windsor Street in Toxteth, L8 - also home to our friends at SQUASH NUTRITION.