Let’s Ensemble!

Playing in an ‘ukulele ensemble is a delightfully different musical experience. Rather than simply strumming in a song circle or playing solo chord/melodies, in a “ukestra” each individual contributes an important part of the whole piece. The end result is often astounding.

Surprisingly, ensemble playing can also be very accessible for players of all abilities. And the opportunities to develop new skills are boundless. So, we are beyond pleased to have Nancy Piver, one of the ukulele world’s most noted ensemble creators and conductors, join us again on the staff of the West Coast ‘Ukulele Reunion, November 3 – 6, at Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria.

Nancy is a life-long ‘ukulele player and an intuitive musician who plays by ear. She is also a graduate of James Hill’s Ukulele Teacher Certification program, JHUI and leads a local community ukulele group, SLO Strummers, in San Luis Obispo. Nancy also teaches privately. But her passion for arranging music, from trios to ‘ukulele orchestras, has become legendary.

Ukulele Ensembles

Nancy will be bringing three ensemble opportunities to the West Coast ‘Ukulele Reunion this year: “Glow Worm,” “Castle Valse Classique,” and “Trés Moutarde.” As always, she brings a little something for everyone.

“Glow Worm” is a simple and delightful tune that has seen fame as a Mills Brother’s classic and with Kermit the Frog on “The Muppet Show.” Accomplished in a day, with parts for beginners as well as intermediate players, it offers a great opportunity for those who might just want to dip a toe in the ukulele ensemble universe as well as those wanting to hone their skill at playing well with others.

“Castle Valse Classique” is a fancy name for a ragtime-era version of Antonín Dvořák’s famous “Humoresque,” which you’ll likely recognize immediately as soon as you hear the melody. If you don’t, don’t worry. Nancy will provide an MP3 for those who’d like to hear it first. This fun ensemble piece is perfect for “confident” beginners and intermediate players. There is even a part for a baritone ukulele.

And here is the pièce de résistance for intermediate and advanced players, Trés Moutarde,” (aka “Too Much Mustard”), a lively ragtime tune with up to six parts, including baritone ukulele and bass. This one is a commitment, covering 3 sessions to produce a performance-ready piece. Check it out and remember, “Yes, you can!”

Please Join Us

Nancy Piver joins a team of 6 excellent instructors who will be joining us at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Reunion in November and we still have room if you’d like to join us.

If you’d prefer to stay off campus, the Bluebird Inn still has space available. But if you’d prefer to stay at camp, we have room for a couple of RV’s (no hook-ups) and there are still a few beds available (women only) in the charming camp cabins.

To learn more specifics about the retreat, please visit the website.

If you’re ready now, the button below will take you directly to the Camp Ocean Pines website to register.

And if you haven’t already, please “subscribe” in order to get the latest news about the retreat as we post it and/or join our mailing list.

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