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Ukulele: Pass it On! with Chalmers Doane and James Hill 2010

  Aug 6 - Aug 8, 2010 Fri 5:00 PM - Sun 2:30 PM

Have you ever noticed that people always look happy when they're playing ukulele?  It's true.  Ukulele is fun to play, inexpensive and amazingly versatile.  Thanks to the trailblazing work of Nova Scotia native Chalmers Doane in the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of students and teachers all over the world have discovered the joy of music using ukulele as their vehicle.  Now it's your turn!

The Tatamagouche Centre proudly presents a weekend with Chalmers Doane, the father of Canadian ukulele, and James Hill, a student of the Doane method and a world-class master of the instrument.  You will immerse yourself in ukulele jams, breakout workshops and general sessions, learn new songs and skills and meet like-minded people.

Ukulele is like a lucky penny, you have to pass it on!  Sooner or later you're going to find yourself teaching ukulele to someone; that's just the nature of this wonderful little instrument. Whether it's your grandson, daughter, friend, neighbour, boss or nephew, it won't be long before they're saying "I want to play, too!"  To that end, Chalmers and James will make sure you're ready with tried-and-true teaching strategies and fun repertoire for strummers of all ages!

Don't miss this rare opportunity to learn from two of the giants of this tiny instrument.  All levels of ability and all ages are welcome.  Please bring your ukulele and a music stand.  We also have 15 Ukulele's to borrow for the weekend if you do not have your own! Sheet music and handouts will be provided.  We have special rates for youth 13-18, and day rates too!




Chalmers Doane

Chalmers is "The Father of Canadian ukulele". He pioneered the use of ukulele in the school classroom over forty years ago. Chalmers conceived of the ukulele as a vehicle for musicianship, thus his emphasis on music theory, sight-reading, ear training, singing, solo performance, and ensemble playing. At the same time, he saw the ukulele as a serious musical instrument, one capable of expressing a wide range of emotion and providing a great deal of personal joy. His infectious charisma and positive approach to music education inspired other teachers to follow his lead. The Doane ukulele program, with its beginnings in the Halifax elementary public schools, would ultimately reach over 50,000 school children and adults throughout Canada and the United States. The last ten years of Chalmers' career were spent as professor of music education at the NS Teachers College. In recent years, his influence on music education in Canada has been recognized by The Learning Partnership, an honorary doctorate from Saint Mary's University and membership in the Order of Canada. Now retired, he is still pursuing his lifelong joy:  making music with his friends.

James Hill

So how does a kid from Canada become what the Honolulu Star-Bulletin calls a “rare peer” of Hawaii’s premier ukulele players? Nearly three thousand miles east of Honolulu is James' hometown of Langley, British Columbia, where ukulele instruction has been mandatory in many schools since the late 1970s and where James was introduced to the ukulele at the age of nine. To his fourth grade classmates, the ukulele was a means to an end, a way for them to dip their toes into the vast ocean of music. For James, the uke was a sea of possibilities unto itself and inside its tiny wooden shell he saw his life in music. He was hooked. During his teenage years he honed his skills as a key member of the renowned Langley Ukulele Ensemble under the direction of Peter Luongo. In a full-circle plot twist, James – also a passionate teacher – recently co-authored the Ukulele in the Classroom method book series with J. Chalmers Doane, the trail-blazing teacher who pioneered the use of ukuleles in Canadian schools.

These days, James' music is heard frequently on CBC and NPR National radio. He has made TV appearances on The Tony Danza Show, MTV, Urban Rush and Studio 4 with Fanny Keifer, and has shared billing with Jerry Douglas, Robert Cray, Lyle Lovett and countless others. Since turning heads with his early recordings, concerts tours throughout North America, Europe and Asia have broadened James' musical tastes and horizons.

Ron Kelly

Ron KellyRon Kelly, Program Resource Group (PRG) facilitator. Ron has a deep love and understanding of the natural world. He is an ecologist, educator, mediator and counsellor of abusive men and boys.

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