Music Appreciation Group

The Music Group will be called the Music Appreciation Group from 17 January 2019.

The Music Appreciation Group is continuing to run on a virtual basis.

Each month we have a theme and members chose a song or tune based on this theme. This month it was “Seasons.”

People chose..

Springtime of the Year -The Cambridge Singers

Autumn Leaves – Nat King Cole

Turn, turn, turn – The Byrds

The Summer Wind – Madeleine Peyroux

Autumn Carol – Black Dyke Mills

River of Dreams Hayley Westenra

A Song of the Weather – Flanders and Swann

Windy City -from Oklahoma

They send their choices to me and I collate them and even add a short musical extract if I can find one. I then circulate everyone with all the information. While not as good as sitting together, it does mean the group continues to listen to music chosen by the group.


December 2019 Newsletter

Since the last Newsletter our group increased in size by 300% – but only for one month! For our “Workshop” this year we were delighted to have Simon Thompson visit us to show us how to use that most valuable instrument – the human voice. An invitation had been thrown out to other members of Beeston U3A and visitors came from Singing for Fun, Ukulele and members who didn’t think they could sing but would rather like to try! Simon had brought a guitarist and percussionist to keep us in time and put up a screen with the words. Some still remain with me as we were singing about a goldfish that found it hard to do the can-can! He also had some members of one of his many singing groups who were very useful to help us put in the harmonies. A most enjoyable meeting made more so by finding out that his teaching and singing groups support local charities.

Prior to that we had a table at the Group Fair but this year had been grouped together with all of the music related sub groups. I think this confused some of the visitors and we probably spent as much time explaining that we don’t play recorders or visit jazz venues but “stay in and listen to music” .

In the run up to Christmas we have Children’s music showcased and then down to planning the programme for 2020.

Information about the group can be obtained from the Group Coordinators or from me direct; we still meet at 10.00am on the third Thursday of the month at the church in the Guild Room.

Karin Williams

September 2019 Newsletter

Since our last Newsletter entry our group has proved yet again that small numbers can provide big ideas! Our subjects have included Vinyl and 45s, Trees and Mountains, Showtunes and Spain!

The Vinyl section is possibly the most prolific and grateful thanks to Jenny Chapman who brings her large turntable and equipment, so we can enjoy the likes of Steeleye Span, Mamas and Papas and even Charles Trenet! The other subjects turned out gems such as “Going To Build a Mountain” by Sammy Davis Junior and “On The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine” from the comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy.

Impossible to list everything here for every month but I must make special mention of the English Folk Music which was the topic for the June offering. There were some very funny but slightly risqué words in some of the songs but our very own John McCormack entertained us by singing and accompanying himself on the banjolele! We all agreed that we must have another session like that in the future as it was so good.

Information about the group can be obtained from the U3A Groups Coordinator or from me direct. We still meet at 10.00am on the third Thursday each month in the Guild Room at the church.

Karin Williams

March 2019 Newsletter

Since the last Newsletter the group has modified its name to Music Appreciation which the members believe better reflects the aims of our small group. We continue on the third Thursday at 10.00 n the Guild Room to play music on CDs, sometimes vinyl and sometimes downloaded onto modern equipment! Each person who has brought music plays one track according to the theme for the month, January made them all think hard as we had settled on the colour “Red” when we did our list before Christmas. Amazing how many thought of Guy Mitchell and “She wears red feathers and a Hula hula skirt”, must be an age thing! Johnny and the Hurricanes emerged in Red River Rock and, by way of contrast, the original version and more sedate tune of Red River Valley!” Mars the Red Planet composed by Holst gave us a classical input and the rockers had their fix of heavy metal by the Rolling Stones playing Little Red Rooster. You can’t say we’re not imaginative as I think we covered virtually every genre of music in that one meeting and the rest of the year has more to offer.

For more information please contact me either direct or through the Group Co-ordinator.

Karin Williams

September 2018 Newsletter

The meeting was held at the Resource Centre to learn how to play Indonesian percussion instruments called the Gamelan. Our teacher Nikki Kemp (supported by the organisers, “Good Vibrations”) gave us an insight into types of music from Java and Thailand and interesting facts about the culture and background of the music. She also produced some intricate puppets which would be used for shadow theatre and some wondrous hand carved wooden masks. White faces and eyes looking downward are good, red faces and eyes staring out are bad! Sounded a bit like our Punch and Judy but performances can go on all night!

Our instruction to get out anything in the music room coloured red and gold brought forth a quantity of xylophone type instruments of varying sizes, numerous drums ranging from bongo to large ones and a set of gongs which were hung up. All these were hit, banged or beaten with a variety of wooden hammers and we were ready to start!

The musical scale was different to western style and we had various practice runs and swapping around. It was a sort of 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 scale and numbers were written on the instruments to help us. I should mention that traditionally we should have been barefoot and sitting on the floor but only the brave tried that! As we got more proficient we tackled a proper bit of music, each with our own rhythm to play and with the “gonger” needing to remember to whack the 2 or the 5 so the rest of us knew where we were!

One more lesson and I think we will be ready to go on tour – watch out Ukelele group, you may have rivals!

Karin Williams

March 2018 Newsletter

Our small group continues to meet monthly, albeit with a recent change of Leader! Graham and Sue stepped down after a few years of producing a harmonious balance of music each month in accordance with a chosen theme. There is no requirement to be a musician to join the group, only an interest in listening to music! Last season we covered Jazz, Sea Songs, Music Hall and American music. Then we started to travel musically around the British isles with Scottish and Welsh music now ticked off the list. We covered the years 1900 to 1939 and had visitors to talk about music to us. Knowing that vinyl is making a comeback, this has also been included for the coming season and folk music will again be making a return. All the ideas for the monthly playlist come from the group members themselves who bring a CD or Tablet with music downloaded and we all listen; this makes for a varied selection as we all have different tastes, and you may find a genre that you like and have never listened to before! I am delighted to have been part of the Group for a while and I am now its Leader.

Karin Williams

December 2017 Newsletter

After our August break, we resumed in September with a session on single instrument music. We had a varied programme from the human voice to a stepladder!

Amongst the pieces we heard were Angie by Bert Jansch, Roundabout by Eric Roche, Apassionata by Ashkenazy, Maple Leaf Rag by Ronnies Rhythms, Human Whistle by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, The Seagull by the New Rope String Band and pieces by Bach, Beethoven and Liszt.

In October we focused on music from 1900 to 1939 which highlighted what a wide variety of music there was at the time; Al Bowlly, Jelly Roll Morton, Holst, Irving Berlin, Carl Orff, Eric Coates, Poulenc, Marlene Dietrich were among the pieces brought along by members of the group.

In November we are going to be looking at Scottish music then planning in December alongside Music from TV ads.

Sue and I will no longer lead the music group after the December meeting. We have very much enjoyed our time facilitating this wonderful group. It is now time to hand over to someone else.

Graham and Sue Lodge

June 2017 Newsletter

In February, our topic was Sea Songs and amongst the music we listened to and discussed were: Sea Pictures by Elgar. We Sail the Ocean Blue by Gilbert and Sullivan, Fishermen of England by Peter Dawson, By the Sleepy Lagoon by Eric Coates, The Sea Must Have an Ending by Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Sloop John B by the Carlton Male Voice Choir

In March we had a visiting singer/songwriter, Phil Pipe who performed songs he had written and told very amusing anecdotes about his life. Everyone agreed that it was a brilliant session and wished to invite him back in 2018.

April’s session was based on music that tells a story. There were many interesting pieces brought along including: Tam Lin by Fairport Convention, Seven Years by Norah Jones, We’ll Meet Again by Johnny Cash, She’s Leaving Home by the Beatles Hopping in Kent by Louise Fuller and Frozen Logger by Pete Seeger and the Weavers

Our June session is a practical one, most likely to be drumming.

We also welcome any new members to a very friendly group who enjoy listening to and learning about different forms of music.

Sue and Graham Lodge

March 2017 Newsletter

In December 2016, we had a planning session where we outlined the programme for 2017. The first session in January saw us focus on Jazz (traditional and modern).

Amongst the music brought along to share were Errol Garner, Django Reinhardt and Stefan Grapelli, Dave Brubeck, Bix Beiderbecke, Chris Barber, Fats Waller, Scott Joplin, Thelonius Monk, Billie Holliday and Louis Armstrong. This year’s programme is as follows

January 19th Jazz February 16th

Sea Songs

March 16th

Phil Pipe (singer/songwriter performer)

April 20th

Music that tells a story

May 18th

Music Hall and Revue

June 15th

Practical Session

July 20th

American Music


No Meeting

September 21st Single instrument music October 19th

Music from 1900 to 1939

November 16th

Scottish Music


December 21st

Music from TV Ads and planning

We also welcome any new members to a very friendly group who enjoy listening to and learning about different forms of music.

Sue and Graham Lodge

December 2016 Newsletter

Visitors to our group since March have been, Peter Price, who ran a session for us on organ music using the organ in the church and, the Attenborough Bell Ringers, who ran a very entertaining and informative meeting and encouraged us to have a go.

We have also had a session on musicals since 1960, children’s music and obscure CDs. Following her appearance on the front cover of the national U3A magazine, Kay Williams did a session on Berlioz for us all.

November we enjoyed a second session on vinyl and in December we will be doing our usual planning for the future, having a fuddle and a short quiz.

We are a smallish group and have been together for a long time but are welcoming to anyone who fancies joining us in 2017. We meet on the third Thursday in each month, apart from August, in the Guild Room. If you like listening to a variety of music and sharing your love of music with a group of friendly people, please come along and give us a try.

Sue and Graham Lodge

March 2016 Newsletter

In November 2015 we had a session on Samba drumming led by a visitor from Nottingham University followed,

In December, by a fuddle while we planned 2016 to a background of brass band music.

We began the New Year with a session called duos and trios. Members brought along music ranging from classical trios by Mozart to music by a local duo, one of whom is a member of our Beeston Ukulele Group.

Music played was, Dapper Dan, Peter Paul and Mary(Lemon Tree), Peter and Gordon(World Without Love), Steve Knightly and Martyn Joseph(Man O War/Swansea), Donizetti(Duet from Don Pasquale), Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth(Duet from Veronique), Martin and Eliza Carthy(Happiness), Cliff Richard and Sarah Brightman(duet from Phantom of the Opera), Flanders and Swann(Ill Wind), The Scaffold (Lily the Pink), Mozart(trio from Cosi Fan Tutte).

Future meetings see a member focusing on guitar music, a visitor to take us through organ music, discovering composers and another vinyl session plus much more.

Sue and Graham

December 2015 Newsletter

In May of this year, we had a session on children’s music. Members brought along some of their favourites which were as follows-

  • Pure Imagination from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Josh Grogan
  • Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev
  • Captain Beaky by Keith Michell
  • Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Nellie the Elephant by Mandy Miller
  • The Ugly Duckling and Tubby the Tuba by Danny Kaye
  • Hole in the Ground and Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins
  • The Gnu by Flanders and Swann
  • One of our members also sang Nasty Spider accompanied by guitar

In June, the focus was on Country Music and, although there was little expertise in this area, we were guided through an enjoyable time with the following songs-

  • Easy on the Eyes by Eddy Arnold
  • Half As Much by Hank Williams
  • Stop Look and Listen by Patsy Cline
  • Red Wing by Chet Atkins
  • Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette
  • Get Rhythm by Johnny Cash
  • Didn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night by Willie Nelson
  • Making Believe by Dolly Parton
  • Guitars, Cadillacs and….by Dwight Yoakam
  • Passionate Kisses by Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • There’s Your Trouble by The Dixie Chicks
  • King of the Road by Roger Miller
  • Razor Back Steak by Jimmy Driftwood
  • Torpedo by Hoyt Axton
  • Waltzing With Bears by Bayou Seco

Before we took our summer break we looked at church and choir music in July. We had a varied and interesting session which included-

  • Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart
  • Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
  • Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams
  • Narcis Casanovas Betran Magnificat
  • Gloria by Vivaldi
  • Vespers by Rachmaninov
  • Do You Hear the People Sing? By The Carlton Male Voice Choir
  • Adiemus for female voices by Karl Jenkins
  • Pasadena by Therapy
  • Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves by Verdi

In September Big Band Music was led by one of our members. We barely touched the surface so we aim to have another session in 2016 looking at English bands and from the 1950s on.

  • Running Wild by Paul Whiteman
  • Dardanella by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
  • Father Steps In by Earl Hines
  • Body and Soul by Benny Goodman
  • Blue and Esoteric by Jack Teagarden
  • It Don’t Mean a Thing by Duke Ellington
  • The World is Mad by Count Basie
  • All of Me by Count Basie and Frank Sinatra
  • Love is the Sweetest Thing by Al Bowlly
  • Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway
  • The Story of a Starry Night and Tiger Rag by Glenn Miller
  • Wedding Samba by Edmundo Ross
  • In The Mood by Joe Loss

Our last meeting in October had two of our group leading an enjoyable sing-along with guitar accompaniment. In November we look forward to Samba drumming and in December, Brass Band music and forward planning. We still have a few places for new members, please come and join us.

Sue and Graham

June 2015 Newsletter

In February one of our members conducted us all through a guided tour of Schubert. This included instrumental pieces as well as vocal works, a most enjoyable session which taught us a great deal about this composer. The featured pieces were
Marche Militaire, Impromptu No.2 in Eb, Piano Trio No.1, Piano No.21 in Bb, Standchen
An Die Laute, Die Taubenpost, Die Forelle, Auf Dem Wasserzu Singer, An Die Musik

Vinyl records were brought in by everyone to share in March and a good time was had by all listening to the hiss and scratch of the needle playing:
Byker Hill by The Barelyworks, Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter by Tom Courtney
Mr.Bojangles by Neil Diamond, Unsquare Dance by Dave Brubeck,
Annie’s Song by Placido Domingo and John Denver
The Song of Patriotic Prejudice by The King Singers, Roulette by Russ Conway,
Clown by Ralph McTell, Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, Play Bach by Jacques Loussier,
Blackbird by The Beatles, Beat of Africa by Acholi Tribe, The Cactus by Jake Thackeray,
Bright Phoebus by Lal and Mike Waterson, Wait A Minim – a revue.

April’s meeting saw the return of our ever-popular desert island discs where five of our members chose the following pieces of music to take to their desert island,
Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore, Harry Nillson’s Lullaby in Ragtime,
The New Rope String Band’s Nola, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
We look forward to Children’s music this month and Folk and Country Music in June.

For information: Beeston Ukulele Group has now left the U3A but most of the band members are still U3A members.

Sue and Graham

March 2015 Newsletter 

A new year has begun and we have another full programme ahead. At our January meeting our theme was animals. The Group decided that it would be a good idea to share with you all the music we listened to in our sessions. So this is the list for January animal theme:

Mendelssohn – O For The Wings Of a Dove, Glen Miller Band – A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,
Haydn- ” The Lark” string quartet in D Major Opus 64, Saint-Saens- The Swan from Carnival of the Animals,
Schubert- The Trout Quintet, Fleetwood Mac – Albatross, Five Penny Piece- Big Jim (a worm),
Young Tradition – Daddy Fox, Blanche Marchesi – The Sicilian Cart Driver’s Song,
Tchaikovsky- Dance of the Swans, Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band -Turkey in the Straw and
Frankie Laine – Mule Train.

The Annual Programme for 2015 is as follows
February     Schubert
March         Vinyl Session
April            Desert Island Discs
May             Children’s Music
June            Folk and Country
July             Choir and Choral Music
September Big Band Music
October      Visiting Samba Band
November  Visiting Piano/Organist
December  Brass Band Music

For information: Beeston Ukulele Group has now left the U3A but most of the band members are still U3A members.

Sue and Graham

December 2014 Newsletter

Our music group has covered among other things, comedy music, world music and music and religion. All these events were well attended and enjoyable. In November we will be having a practical session on drumming with a local tutor. We are due to plan our future programme at our December meeting. We will welcome any new members to this very friendly group who have eclectic tastes and enjoy listening together to a wide variety of input.

Graham and Sue Lodge

Ukulele Group

We have just cut our first CD! An experience new to us all. Approached with trepidation but extremely enjoyable and successful. We have played many gigs all over Nottingham including for Framework in Arnold, a couple of 90th birthday parties and we have made strong links with College House Junior School in Chilwell. Here we played in an assembly and are planning future joint ventures. We were happy to play, once again, at St Barnabas’s Church in September for their Harvest Supper.

We have already taken ten bookings for 2015 including one for Christmas 2015!

Graham Lodge

June 2014 Newsletter

New Picture (64)The U3A music group continues with its varied and interesting programme. The members turn up every month to listen to and share music suiting all tastes. So far this year we have looked at the theme of colours in music, listened to a varied selection of piano music, had a go at playing a wide variety of musical instruments ourselves and enjoyed a group quiz. Most recently we “Discovered Composers” and were introduced to Bruckner, Puccini, Gregorio Allegri and Gerald Finzi by four of our members. They gave us a brief life history of their chosen composer and we then listened to fine examples of the composer’s works.

In June several members will guide the group through their inheritance tracks and in July we focus on Comedy in music which should be a fun time! To round off the year, we have sessions on World Music, Music and Religion, Choral Music and our usual Christmas bash.


Since the new year we have been very busy practising and fulfilling gigs around the region. In January we entertained the 2 o’clock club at the CRMC then on Valentine’s Day we visited Grove Court and performed for the Horizons group. More recently we travelled to Mickleover to be the after dinner entertainment for the ex Army Apprentices over 60s reunion in the Menzies Hotel and for the Friendship group at the Hope Centre on Boundary Road Beeston.

Over the remaining seven months of the year we have fourteen further definite bookings and phone calls coming in every week, we’ve even had to turn some down! Still, we go from strength to strength waving the U3A banner showing you are never too old to learn, perform and enjoy(not necessarily in that order). The ukulele really is a splendid instrument and we are hoping to make a CD later in the year.

Sue and Graham

December 2013 Newsletter

After the summer break the music group gathered together to share their Desert Island Discs. This is a fairly regular session for the group and gives members of the group the opportunity to share some of their favourite music and explain why they chose their piece. Our October session was Film Music which ranged from the light-hearted (Mamma Mia) to the deeply moving (violin solo from Schindler’s List).

Our programme for November is Music and Religion which will hopefully bring forward some very interesting and varied pieces of music for us to discuss. Our December meeting sees BUGs playing at the group’s Christmas celebration.

Beeston Ukulele Group (BUGs)

In addition to playing at the music group’s Christmas party and the full U3A members’ meeting in December, BUGs have a whole host of gigs during November/December. In November we play the Festival of Light celebration on the 30th at CRMC. In December we play at two Probus meetings, the Attenborough and Chilwell Women’s Group, The Grange Nursing Home and Greenwood Court Retirement Living. We have even accepted bookings for January, May and July of 2014!!

Graham & Sue

September 2013 Newsletter

In May we had a super session on World music, where we were enthralled by the variety of music from South Africa, India, South America and Europe. It also provided a talking point about the power and influence of music.

In June we welcomed local singer/songwriter Phil Langran who entranced us with an insight into his approach to song writing as well as his musical influences. He illustrated this all with guitar playing and singing. A great session.

Brass was the theme for July when members brought along the wide variety of music linked to brass. We heard classical, band and jazz pieces which featured brass instruments and learned a good deal about technique from one of our brass playing members.

We did not meet in August but the forthcoming September meeting is the popular Desert Island Discs session. Seven members volunteered to bring along a piece of music that means something significant to them to share with others.
Beeston Ukulele Group (BUGs)

The ukulele group has had a busy time over the past months and looks like it will be busy up to the Christmas period. We have played at many venues in the region and entertained people at local care and nursing homes, clubs and events. We are booked for several more gigs next month and October. There has been a demand for us to play at many Christmas events already so we are really happy. This has meant we have had to practice a lot and have met every fortnight or so to learn new songs and prepare carols!

We will play at the December full U3A meeting and if you want us to play for your organisation, ring us soon or be disappointed!

Graham & Sue

June 2013 Newsletter

The U3A music group has continued with an agenda full of variety. Since Christmas we have enjoyed sessions on music about the seasons, Irish and Scottish music, and Chamber music with a wind focus: all led by members of the group who never fail to impress with the breadth of their knowledge and enthusiasm.

A great success also was our “try an instrument” session. Members enjoyed trying out a variety of instruments such as hand bells, trumpet, flute, clarinet, guitar, ukulele, banjo, piano accordion and numerous percussion instruments. We all got together at the end to play “Old Macdonald Had A Band”. Great fun and a session to be repeated by popular demand.

This month (May) we reprise our very successful World Music session and in June we have the visiting local singer/songwriter Phil Langran. In July a Brass session will take us into our summer break.


We have added a percussion section and guitaring recently. Our gigs continue, with visits to two local retirement/care homes. We shall also play at the Beeston Community Celebration at Round Hill Primary School on Saturday 6th July. The group have expanded their repertoire with more difficult songs and have put together a really interesting set, including a self-penned song, poems and individual items as well as the usual sing-a-long songs.
BUGs go from strength to strength!

Graham & Sue

March 2013 Newsletter

We ended the year with our December meeting and a visit from Stuart McCoy, a local musician, who provided live lute playing which was a sheer delight. His input was also illustrated with the history of the instrument. We were fascinated by his session and his incredible skills. Our 2013 programme was assembled by the group and is as follows;

January – A themed session on “Seasons” where members bring along music connected with the theme and listen and discuss.
February – One of our members will lead the session on Irish/Scottish music.
March – Another of our members will lead us through Chamber Music with the emphasis on wind instruments.
April – Members of the group will bring along instruments to allow other members to try them out and maybe we can play something together?
May – We shall be focusing on World Music and listening and discussing music from all around the planet.
June – Phil Langran (a local singer/songwriter) will visit and play and talk to us about his work.
July – Our focus for this session is Brass. We do not meet in August
September – Desert Island Discs is one of our favourite sessions. Several of the group will bring along music they would like to take with them to a desert island.
October – A fun packed session on film music.
November – We will look at the links between music and religion in this meeting.
December – Christmas session.

These topics may be subject to change and will be detailed closer to the dates of the meetings. New members always welcome.

Graham and Sue


What a busy first year the BUGS had! We played nine gigs in total and we published our own songbook. We move into our second year with excitement. Early 2013 and we are learning many new songs with a view to assembling a varied and entertaining set to perform to interested parties. We have also made a link with Round Hill Primary School and look forward to joint projects with their ukulele group. By the end of the year we hope and aim to make a CD of our favourite tunes, be part of a documentary film about our community link with Round Hill and continue to play at events throughout the Nottingham district.


December 2012 Newsletter

The music group meets on the third Thursday of each month in the Chilwell Road Methodist Church. We always have an interesting programme generated by the group. Since June 2012 we have had a music quiz, Desert Island discs, a very interesting session led by one of our members on Musical Theatre, and another equally interesting session on Baroque music run by another.

In November we have organised World Music to be the focus with time to look forward to developing a programme for 2013. In December we have invited a local lute player to play and talk to us about this fascinating instrument.

We still welcome new members to this group. Why not spend some time listening to, learning about and discussing music with a really friendly group of people?


BUGs (Beeston Ukulele Group)

Our seventeen strong group continues to flourish. After a brief summer break we stepped up the practices and expanded our repertoire. The ukulele is such a fun instrument to play. We always enjoy the practices even though they can be challenging at times. On October 31st we were invited to Queenswood Methodist Care Home to play at one of our member’s mum’s 100th birthday celebrations. This was very enjoyable and required us to go through most of the songs we knew till the Mayor and the tea trolley turned up!

Our reputation is growing and has reached as far as Sherwood. The Progressive Synagogue has invited us to perform at a musical evening on November 21st and, by the time you read this, we will be flushed with success – or not. December is a busy month for the group as we will be playing in the Beeston Christmas Lights Switch on event. This is Saturday 1st December from 12 noon to 6.15 pm and we have been booked for the 1.30 pm slot. We will be playing on the bandstand/stage in the Square so we are hoping for good weather and we may have to adopt fingerless gloves to play if the temperature is cold. We have never played in the open air before so it will be a first for us and we are quite worried how the sound will carry as the ukulele is a small and reasonably quiet instrument. We then will move on to the Season of Lights event at Chilwell Road Methodist Church on the same day to play there. Two performances in one day! Also a first.

We hope to see most of you at the December full U3A meeting where we will again play for you during the morning.
So, as you can guess, we are learning carols to perform but we didn’t want to do the traditional ones so we’ve gone out on a limb to perform some unusual ones which we hope you will enjoy and join in the choruses.

We are also in the process of producing a BUGs ukulele songbook of the songs we have learned this year (our first) and hope some will be made available to buy at future meetings by enthusiastic music lovers.

We look forward to 2013 and further expanding our repertoire, chord knowledge and gigs because we have had an exciting first year and kept a very stable and happy group who enjoy playing and singing together.


June 2012 Newsletter

The monthly meetings (third Thursday in every month, 10 am in CRMC Epworth Room) are always well attended (31 on the register) and we have enjoyed a varied programme of musical interest. In January we featured “Celebrations” where members brought along and discussed music on this theme. It is encouraging how the group volunteer and share their musical knowledge and love of their favourite pieces. This was followed by February’s meeting “Parlour Songs and Party Pieces”. Members brought along songs, sheet music and even photos to recall their musical influences, upbringing and memories. In March we emulated a Radio 4 feature by listening to our “Inheritance Tracks”. Members of the group brought two pieces of music to the session. One was a piece of music they remembered, or inherited, from their early days and one piece they would like to leave to the future generation. This led to many reminiscences and much discussion. In April we were the audience for the debut performance of “BUGs”, our own U3A ukulele group (see article on BUGs). A “Weather” theme is the focus for our May meeting and it is always exciting to turn up to the meeting and find out what is in store for us all. With a bit of luck, a hint of summer weather will be chosen to cheer us all up after this wet Spring!  At our recent group meeting, we decided on the following programme for our monthly meetings up to December 2012.

June 21st. A Music Quiz.
July 19th. Desert Island Discs.
August. No Meeting.
Sept 20th. Musical Theatre.
Oct 18th. Baroque Music
Nov 15th. World Music/Visiting Musician.
Dec 20th. Christmas Music/Lute.

Graham and Sue


Ukulele Group 19 April 2012

The core group of 16 members meet every couple of weeks to practice and, over the past few months, we put together a programme of songs to entertain the music group in April. The performance lasted about thirty minutes and included songs from the sixties, Amazing Grace, a medley and our own version of “When The Saints”. The response to our concert was very encouraging. The audience applauded, joined in the songs and asked for an encore. We now move on to the Indoor Jubilee Celebration. Members of the group work really hard and are very keen. Over the next months, we will be busy learning a few new tunes, new chords and different strumming styles. The only way is up!


March 2012 Newsletter

The Beeston U3A music group has 27 members with a wide variety of musical backgrounds and interests. We are a friendly and welcoming group who are happy to learn, share and discuss music in its many forms. At our December Christmas fuddle, we looked at the first months of the new year and decided on the following schedule:

January 19th: Celebration Theme
February 16th: Parlour and Party Songs
March 15th: Inheritance Tracks
April 19th: Beeston Ukulele Group Presentation and Stringed Instruments

January’s theme was “Celebration” and members were asked to bring along and share music connected with the theme. February’s meeting was led by Pat and concentrated on parlour and party songs we all know and love. In March we are going to look at which piece of music we inherited from the previous generation and which piece we would hand down to the next generation. The long-awaited concert by the BUGS will happen in April along with a listen to music of stringed instruments.

We meet at CRMC every third Thursday in the month from 10 -11.30 am in the Epworth Room. We welcome new members up to a maximum of 30. Thereafter we will compile a waiting list.

Graham and Sue, March 2012. 

December 2011 Newsletter

Beeston Ukulele Group (or BUGS if you prefer)

A Ukulele group has formed from the Beeston U3A music group. We call ourselves BUGs. We meet once a fortnight in a room generously offered by one of our members. We first met in September when, clutching our instruments, about sixteen people turned up and took their first steps in ukulele playing. Since that first tentative step, the group has met three more times and maintained its numbers well.

We have already mastered three chords. This means we can play the whole of the Status Quo back catalogue! It is really great to see people who have never turned their hand to learning a musical instrument, or read music, concentrating hard, using dextrous fingers to pick out the chords and a dextrous wrist to strum the strings. We now have a repertoire of six songs and in the new year we are working towards a short concert for our fellow music group members. You never know, after some time, we may be in a position to play at a full U3A meeting!

We’ll keep you posted about our progress.

Graham and Sue. December 2011

Music Group at End of Session Party
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