Mass Appeal – Ukuleles
Location: St. Vital Park
(near the duck pond)
Thursday September 13
Rehearsal: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Concert: 7:30 – 8:00 pm
Ukuleles at St. Vital Park
The ukulele concert has been a mainstay of Mass Appeal Winnipeg since it began back in 2016. After a couple of great years at the Oodena Celebration Circle at the Forks and in the main hall of Union Station, we’re moving this event to South Winnipeg. St. Vital Park is one of three regional parks original to the City of Winnipeg and remains one of the city’s premier public spaces. We’re happy to be bringing this special brand of concert to a new location. The rehearsal and concert will take place near the Duck Pond, where there is plenty of space, lots of parking, and a brilliant backdrop of one of our signature pieces in Winnipeg’s Public Art collection, the magnificent Écobuage. In case of rain, we’ll play inside the Pavilion.
As always, this event will be led by Kate Ferris. She’s been performing in one form or another since she was 5, and has been a music teacher in Thompson and a full-time performer playing shows across Canada, the US, and the UK. She’s appeared on television and radio, been an Artist in the Schools across Manitoba, and twice been a guest storyteller with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Kate is one of Manitoba’s greatest music boosters and currently works as a ukulele instructor at the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Folk School. Find out more about her on her website. www.kateferris.ca.
Rehearsal for this concert will take place between 6:00 – 7:00 pm with the concert running from 7:30 – 8:00 pm. To participate as a player, download the songs below and practice them on your own. Participants are asked to bring
– a chair
– a music stand & clip-on light (there may be lights, but bring one just in case!)
– sheet music – preferably secured in order in a 3-ring binder, and 2-page songs arranged face-to-face so that you don’t have to turn pages.
– a pen or pencil for notes during rehearsal
– clothespins to hold your music if it’s windy.
Read on to find the music, sample tracks, and notes on each song from Conductor Kate! You can download all the music as a single PDF file, or find individual versions of each song in the notes below. The songs this year run from Tin Pan Alley to movies to modern, with two instrumental selections as well. Kate has included songs that will be suitable for all players, from beginner to more advanced. If you are just starting on your ukulele journey and feel some of the songs are a bit beyond your ability, just play the chords you know when they come around! It’s all good! And if you can sing harmonies, go for it!
While the videos may not present the exact way these songs are arranged, they’ll help you to become familiar with the melody and phrasing. It’s always good to know the story or meaning behind the songs, so Kate has provided the information for as many as she could find in her notes below.
Mass Appeal 2018 Ukuleles repertoire:
You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Randy Newman
One Day – Matisyahu
On The Sunny Side Of The Street – Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh
Dona Nobis Pacem – Traditional – arranged by G. Heistek
Save The Last Dance For Me – Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman
Firework – Katy Perry
The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea – George Harrison – Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler
Wipe Out – The Surfaris – Bob Berryhill, Jim Fuller, Patrick Connolly, Ron Wilson
Wood River – Connie Kaldor
End of the Line – The Traveling Wilburys – Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan
Imagine – John Lennon
Manitoba – Stompin’ Tom Connors
1. You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Randy Newman
Kate says: This lovely little tune was written for the movie “Toy Story’ and immediately became a favourite. Taken at an easy tempo, it’s a great kind of welcome song to start the program. Watch for the tricky phrasing in the mid-section. (‘Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am – big and stronger too’) You have to fit a lot of words in a much shorter space!
2. One Day – Matisyahu
Kate says: One of my favourite ‘Peace’ songs. There’s a great video of a young busker in Hawaii playing uke and singing, not knowing that Matisyahu – the one who wrote the song – is in the shop, listening and joining in. Find it – it’s great! There are some ‘echo’ parts in the repeated ‘One day’ sections that we’ll arrange during rehearsal.
3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street – Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh
Kate says: A truly feel-good song from the Tin Pan Alley days. This recording by ‘the Chairman of the Board’ – Frank Sinatra will teach you the song, if you don’t already know it!
4. Dona Nobis Pacem – Traditional, arranged by G. Heistek
Kate says: “Dona Nobis Pacem” is Latin for “Grant Us Peace”. Some of you may have sung this in choirs, but we will not be singing – we’ll play it as an instrumental only. If you haven’t learned to play tablature, or don’t feel quite prepared to play melody, you can play the chords indicated over the score. This is in 3/4 time, so strum with emphasis on the ONE-two-three. But remember that you are accompanying the melody players, so keep it quiet! We’ll play it through once all together, then 3 more times separately in your groups for a total of 4. I’ll divide you into groups at rehearsal.
5. Save The Last Dance For Me – Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman
Kate says: There’s a poignant story behind the writing of this song. Doc Pomus contracted polio as a boy, forcing him to use crutches to get around. According to musician Lou Reed, who worked with Pomus, the song was written on Pomus’ wedding day while watching his bride dance with their guests. She was a dancer, and he wanted her to enjoy herself but to remember she was going home with him.
6. Firework – Katy Perry
Kate says: Katy Perry wrote ‘Firework’ as a beacon of hope for everyone who’s battled bullies or struggled to find themselves. “I think that’s why I wrote it, is because I really believe in people and I believe that people have a spark to be a firework. It’s just up to them, and a lot of times it’s only us that’s standing in the way of reaching our goals, fulfilling our destinies, being the best version of who we possibly can be, so that’s why I wrote it.”
7. The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea – George Harrison
Kate says: Written in the early ‘30s and first recorded by Cab Calloway, this tune seemed ready-made for `ukulele. George Harrison agreed. In fact, George – the ‘quiet’ Beatle – was a huge fan of the `ukulele and apparently handed them out whenever he had guests over.
8. Wipe Out – The Surfaris – Bob Berryhill, Jim Fuller, Patrick Connolly, Ron Wilson
Kate says: Who doesn’t like some surf fun? As with Dona Nobis Pacem, those who don’t feel like they can play the lead can play the chords indicated above each measure. We may even add some lyrics if it goes well in rehearsal! As for choreography . . . who knows? And we need someone who can do the LAUGH at the beginning!!!
9. Wood River – Connie Kaldor
Kate says: One of Canada’s best songwriters, and a Prairie girl to boot, Wood River has become one of Connie’s best-known songs.
10. End of the Line – The Traveling Wilburys – Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan
Kate says: The song’s riding-on-the-rails rhythm suggests its theme and the on-the-move nature of the group. It features all the Wilburys except Dylan as lead singers; George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison sing the choruses in turn, while Tom Petty sings the verses. The song was mainly written by Harrison, but in keeping with the collaborative concept behind the Wilburys project, however, all five members received a songwriting credit. The music video for “End of the Line” was filmed in Los Angeles after Orbison’s death in December 1988, and features Dylan’s participation. To honour the loss of Orbison, a shot of a guitar sitting in a rocking chair next to a photo of him was used when his vocals are heard.
11. Imagine – John Lennon
Kate says: For our second-last number we’ll perform the best-selling single of John Lennon’s solo career. Its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality and to consider the possibility that the whole of humanity would live unattached to material possessions. Try to work out the tab for the intro, and we’ll go over where to add the ‘extras’ in rehearsal. A song needed as much today as it was when Lennon wrote it.
For another beautiful version, check out the video “Inā (Imagine)” by our friends Keola Beamer and Raiatea Helm. They sing it in both English and Hawaiian, and it includes traditional Oli (Hawaiian chant).
12. Manitoba – Stompin’ Tom Connors
Listen to Kate play Manitoba by Stompin’ Tom:
Download: Mass Appeal 2018 Ukulele 12. Manitoba
Kate says: Stompin’ Tom probably wrote more songs about more places in Canada than anyone else. This has become one of the Ukulele Club of Winnipeg’s signature tunes – a great, upbeat ode to our Province – so although we’ve performed it at Mass Appeal in the past, it’s a great one to end the show. There is no video so this rough recording I made for my students will give you an idea as to melody, tempo, etc. It you hear a cat somewhere in the mix, don’t worry about playing that part!