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Ukulele workshop set for Oct. 23-Oct.25

After a successful debut in 2019, the annual Surry Arts Council Ukulele Retreat is scheduled to return this fall for area ukulele musicians and enthusiasts.

The retreat is scheduled for Oct. 23-25. Retreat attendance, however, is limited this year so that the Surry Arts Council can comply with state-issued guidelines regarding social distancing.

George Smith, a well-known ukulele player and musician will again host the event this year. He has played with numerous bands and has opened for acts including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band, and Drive By Truckers, to name a few. Classes will be held at the Historic Earle Theatre and the Andy Griffith Playhouse. The class schedule for the retreat and class descriptions is:

Friday, Oct. 23

12:30 p.m. Registration at Historic Earle Theatre

1 p.m. Circle Jam and Introductions at the Earle Theatre

2 -2:15 p.m. Break

2:15-3:30 p.m. Movable Chords, at the Earle. Comfortable hand positions and thinking ahead will help players glide from chord to chord with ease. Are there any chords you find particularly challenging? Bring them to class. If they’re challenging for you, they’re challenging for everyone..

3:30-3:45 p.m. Break

3:45-5:00 p.m. Uke Pop Rock at the Earle. Learn several songs that are pop rock favorites. The instructor will provide a few song sheets to inspire the group!

5-7 p.m. Dinner on your own

7 p.m.-8 p.m. Improvising Solos, at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. This class will examine how to make up solos as you go in many genres of pop, folk and rock music. We will look at the importance of melody, embellishments and dynamics to execute emotions on the fly. Sometimes you only need a few notes and some soul!

Saturday, Oct. 24

9:30-10:30 a.m. Rehearse for a performance on the Merry-Go-Round, at the Earle

10:30-10:45 a.m. Break

10:45-11:00 a.m. Sound check on the stage at the Earle Theatre

11 a.m. -12 p.m. Perform live on the Merry-Go-Round at the Earle

12 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:45-3 p.m. Songwriting, held at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Explore how to write your own songs. This class will explore elements of song writing that includes: lyrics, melodies and chords.

3-3:15 p.m. Break

3:15-4:45 p.m. Slide Uke, held at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Have fun playing slide ukulele. This class will begin with some basic slide techniques; choosing a slide and applying it to some basic blues. We will look at a couple of open tunings as well as playing in standard. More advanced soloing techniques will also be addressed, such as playing in the style of the Allman Brothers.

5-7 p.m. Dinner on your own

7-8 p.m. Jam session at the Andy Griffith Playhouse

Sunday, Oct. 25

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Holiday Ukulele at the Earle. Get a jumpstart on learning holiday favorites. This class will allow students to build their holiday repertoire.

2 p.m. Instructor Performance at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

Register at or call 336-786-7998 for more information.



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