Greetings, friends! Our next monthly meeting is fast approaching, on Thursday, November 3, 7:00–9:00pm. Yep, it’s on the first (not the second) Thursday of November – so be sure to adjust your calendar. We’ll meet, as usual, at the Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX, 78723.
It’s not too early to start building your holiday repertoire! We typically learn a winter holiday/Christmas song in November, so that we have our meeting’s recording to share with our global uke community by late November. Even though we are meeting in very early November this year, we’re ready to get the holiday spirit going and hope you will do so with us, too! Break out your reindeer antlers or elf ears, Christmas sweaters and Santa hats to have an even more festive time!
Bob will teach us a medley of two holiday standards, which you likely are very familiar with: “Blue Christmas” and “White Christmas.” There are even a couple of snippets borrowed from two other classics, as you’ll see in the song sheet. The two most famous versions of these songs — Elvis Presley’s 1957 recording of “Blue Christmas” and Bing Crosby’s 1942 recording of “Blue Christmas” — are in the keys of E and A respectively. Neither song is very uke-friendly in these keys, so using Bob’s terrific arrangement, we’ll start with “Blue Christmas” in F, then smoothly modulate to C for “White Christmas.”
To practice, you can preview or download the lyrics, chords, and tab for the “Blue Christmas / White Christmas Medley.” Here are some details about the song sheet:
- Pages 1 and 2 have the chords and lyrics, as well as tab for the short “Jingle Bells” picking part at the end.
- Page 3 has a description of the main strum pattern, along with a simplified alternatives.
- Page 4 has details on the “Deck the Halls” picking part in the Intro.
- Page 5 has vocal harmony options for the last line of “Blue Christmas”.
- Page 5 also additional details on the tab for the “Jingle Bells” picking part in the Ending.
- Page 6 has vocal harmony options for the last two lines of “White Christmas”.
As always, we recommend practicing the song using the chart and diagrams and listening to Elvis’ recording of “Blue Christmas” and Bing Crosby’s recording of “Blue Christmas” before we meet on the 3rd, if possible. 🙂
At the meeting, Bob will perform the “Blue Christmas / White Christmas Medley” to demonstrate the arrangement, and then take us through some helpful exercises to get us comfortable with the chords and chord progressions, strum styles, vocal and harmonizing options, before we put it all together to play it through.
Our meeting format, as usual, will begin with introductions and some local ukulele news/events.
We’ll also include some open mic time for those of you who’d like to showcase one tune you’ve been working on. A sign-up sheet will be available at 6:30. As open mic time is limited to four participants, please sign up when you arrive and understand that preference will be given to those who have not participated recently or ever before.
Ukulele Society T-shirts!
We’ll have Austin Ukulele Society t-shirts available for purchase before and after our meeting, including our brand-new “AUS Classic Ukulele,” design, hot off the presses! All of our shirts are thoughtfully designed by the talented Lyda Guz!
The shirts are silk screened here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop and are available for purchase at our meeting. The new “AUS Classic Ukulele” design, “Ukulele Around the World,” “10th Anniversary,” Mermaid, Cowboy,” “Austin Lasso” and other shirts are $20. We also have vinyl decals with the AUS logo for $1 each. We can accept cash or a check made out to Austin Ukulele Society; you can also make payment via Venmo or PayPal.
Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX 78723. We meet in the school located behind the church, in the gym.
Where to park and find the gym
For those attending for the first time, the church is easy to find – but it is big. You’ll enter from Berkman Dr. using a ‘one way’ entrance and you can park anywhere alongside or behind the church. Past the canopied main entrance, on the same side of the building, there is another entrance on the right. Walk in there and you’ll be in the gym. From there simply follow the sounds of ukuleles tuning up. 🙂
Newcomers and beginners are ALWAYS welcome! Even if you’re a complete novice, we encourage you to come out. Many beginners come to the meetings, and it’s so great to see their skills grow over time! There are almost always easier ways to play the songs, even if you can play only a few of the chords. Or just sing along!
Our friends from the TUG (Tuesday Ukulele Group) now make available loaner ukuleles at the AUS monthly meetings! They are Makala concert and soprano ukes, and you can borrow one to play during the meeting. You’ll find them at the front of the room; so if you don’t have a uke yet, or you forget your uke at home, or your uke is in disrepair, please join us and borrow a TUG loaner uke. 🙂
Feel free to get familiar with the chord charts for any of the songs in our repertoire, all available on the “Music Library” page. We always play “Three Little Birds” and “On the Road Again” as our opening and closing songs, so if you’re new to the group and want to get familiar with them, you can play along using the presentations and our videos.
Stay tuned and keep strumming! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, November 3, at 7:00pm!
Contact Us if you have any questions, need more information, or would like to be added to our mailing list.
With regard to COVID-19, we need your help in mitigating the risk of spreading the virus in the following ways:
- Attend only if you’re feeling well.
- If you have recently had close contact with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and you yourself have tested negative, please wear a mask.
- While Travis County remains in the low risk of transmission category, wearing a mask at MUMC is optional.
- You are always encouraged to wear a mask if you feel more comfortable doing so.
- If you would like additional information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website.
The Austin Ukulele Society team will do our part to mitigate risk by:
- Making disposable masks and hand sanitizer available
- Spreading seating out as needed
- Opening a couple of doors to improve air flow, if the temperatures allow