CEO Message - Ukulele Society of Great Britain (USGB)

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Hello Members: A message from your CEO

When I joined the society and attended Digswell for the first time I was astounded by the “feel” of the Society. I arrived with our new General Secretary Lorna, and we were immediately made to feel welcome and wanted. Whilst we have both attended many George Formby Society Conventions, and I have played at a great deal of Festivals, we have never had such a warm welcome. The lunch and tea, with freshly cut sand-wiches and my favourite elixir tea, is such a welcome and valued part of the day, providing a natural break in the proceedings to catch up with friends and look at the instruments and CD’s on sale at the back of the hall. The work of the existing committee has benefited all of the Society's members. To that end we are delighted they are remaining on the committee and thank them for their excellent work.

The Society itself was founded in 1970, and whilst it is not as well attended currently as it has been in the past, when I understand from many members that it was standing room only, our aim is to build the Society back up to full strength.  Recently I met with our General Secretary and Publicity Officer to discuss what skills and strengths we have that we can use in this mission, and to ensure that we were fully committed to the future of the Society: we are.

We agreed that the aim of the society is, and will continue to be promoting and establishing an interest in the playing of the ukulele and ukulele banjo in their various styles and methods of presentation. We aim to promote music through the medium of the ukulele, raise awareness of the Society and it’s work, to foster talent, encourage participation, and be inclusive to all.

One of our members, young Oliver Mansell played brilliantly at Digswell in April. He was encouraged to ap-ply to play on Mim’s Sideshow at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in May, not only did he play, but was spotted by one of the world’s top players, and was then invited to join him on the main stage. It is exactly this: the fostering and encouraging of talent at all levels.

Some things will not change, as it is this essence which we must preserve for posterity, whilst moving the Society forward. We are re-introducing the tuition element of the day, and we are delighted to have secured Tricity Vogue to do our first workshop on song-writing. We also hope at future meetings to have a “star turn” do a 20 minute set prior to the evening concert.

We are working hard behind the scenes to promote the society, and are also working with some of Europe’s biggest festivals to promote each other, and to draw new members to the Society.

To the future: What do you want?
We believe totally in the values and raison d’etre of the Society, and we need your help to move it forward. What do you want? What would you like to see at Digswell? How can we build upon and strengthen our work? Would you like pre-announced songs for the Thrash so you can learn them and join in more easily? Would you like a pre-meeting Jam? Please let us know, using the email form.

In the meantime: send us your articles, photos and stories for 'The Syncopator' and the website. Existing members can look forward to receiving The Syncopator Autumn Issue  in the 1st week of September.  Please pay your subs (you can join on the subscription page) and visit us at Digswell on Sunday 2nd October at 10.30. Put Sunday 2nd April in your Diary for the next meeting; bring a raffle prize to Digswell; bring a song; but most of all bring yourself!

My warmest Regards, Clarice Ramsden, CEO.
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