Website Launched; Lineup Announced!
We've done it!
We've announced the lineup for the next Allegheny Ukulele Soirée! We are proud and honored to bring such talent to Central PA - Lil Rev, Stuart Fuchs, Gracie Terzian, Rachel Manke, and Mim.
If you have previously attended a Soiree, you may remember seeing Stuart Fuchs back in 2014, or Mim and Rachel from last April. One of the best parts of running a festival like the Soiree is getting to make friends with all the Ukulele icons - and like any time you have friends you make excuses to see them :) You can expect a lot from all three of these characters - worth the trip by themselves, I tell you.
As for our Soiree performer virgins, this will be Lil' Rev's first time at the Soiree, although he will have been to Altoona thrice by the time April 2017 rolls around. Rev is well known and renowned in the community and on the uke fest circuit. I know I am looking forward to getting some workshop time in with this modern master. Gracie Terzian is completely new to us and, as I've found, to a lot of the uke community. I believe I first heard about her through Ukulele Magazine and instantly fell hard for her voice and playing style. Not only is she a sublime singer & player, she also has a background in dance, acting, and songwriting. One of the guiding principles we follow when selecting our guest performers each year is to seek out at least a few lesser-known players and try to help them reach their day in the spotlight. Keep an eye on her; Gracie is destined for something special.
Who would have thought that this little festival could begin to bring in some of the best talent to Altoona of all places? If you didn't know, this is our fourth festival. We began it in 2013 as a 1-day event geared toward trying to drum up attention for our fledgling ukulele club. And boy did it work! Many of our core group came to us through that very first event.
That first year we had 5 or so 45-minute workshops all led by club members. I taught the Intro to Ukulele workshop - this was after I'd only been playing the instrument for a smidge over a year. We had a fun & very exhausting day. Nearly all the attendants were locals - Altoona, Hollidaysburg, State College, etc. And now we're going into our fourth year - with 5 guest artists, nearly 30 available workshops, vendors, delicious food, and so much more. When we started, there were no uke festivals in PA at all - and now there are 2 established weekend fests (us and Funky Frets) and two up-and-coming single day events (SCU's UketoberFest and Ukulele Uprising's Ukulele Harmonic Convergence). What a great time to be a ukulele player in Pennsylvania!
I plan to post occasional updates to the website, so keep an eye out for more :)
Allegheny Ukulele Soiree