Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Second Visit To Park Royal United Church

Once again SMUG had been invited to perform at the regular Sunday morning service at Park Royal United Church in Charlottetown, and obviously back by popular demand following their mid-summer performance in July. Most of the same selections were again chosen and again the ministerial assistant, Barbara Cairns, conducted the service. Leslie Hiscott was the choir director and it was his invitation that brought us back to Park Royal.We missed a few of our regular Smuggers but were delighted to have Mary Weeks, our newest Smugger, play with us for the first time.

Early Sunday morning rehearsal

SMUG in full flight

Ralph checking his notes and Maurice looking for "something"

Ron Tuning up before the performance

Bob with our newest member Mary Weeks

Allison and Vera in the choir room relaxing before the service.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Smug was honoured again today by being invited to lead the 10 a.m. Sunday morning service in song at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Charlottetown. The service was billed as "The Smug Service" . The Reverend Jay MacDonald conducted the service and the Eucharist. Smug performed 11 selections under the direction of Allison Coles; an exuberant congregation joined us in many. A brief reception was held in the fellowship hall following the service where many kind words were appreciated by the Smuggers present.Several mentioned that we should be the "Sunday Morning Ukulele Group". Smug has two more church services coming up, one at Park Royal United Church on November 15th and another at Central Queens United Church in Hunter River on November 22nd.(Both on Sunday!...Oh. well) Several other invitations have been put on hold for a time to let the Smuggers catch their breath and prepare for the Christmas season.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Smug provided the evening entertainment at The Potentate's Annual Reception and Banquet. Illustrious Sir Sam Nahas, Philae Potentate for 2009, made a presentation of flowers to our own Mary Lynn Ross after his address for the evening. He told members of the Island Shrine Club how much their work was appreciated by the members of Philae. Both Mary Lynn and her mother spoke and gave thanks to the Shriners for all of the help Mary Lynn has received from The Island Shrine Club and Philae over many years. Smug provided a fresh new program for the evening which resulted in a standing ovation and a curtain call ending with Jester Hairston's "Amen"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. John's Church in Milton

Smug performed today at St. John's Anglican Church in Milton, PEI. In the mind of this writer, it was our finest effort yet. With 15 Smuggers turning out to perform 10 selections, it proved once again that practice makes (almost) perfect. Smug was under the capable direction of Allison Coles, and The Reverend Evelyn Knorr performed the service. Her kind words towards Smug in her remarks, once again, made us feel just that way. She also added that we would be welcome to return again.
Unfortunately this performance was to be the last for Rob and Heidi Litke who are getting ready to perform at the Ukulele Ceilidh in Liverpool in late October after which they will be returning to Denver for the winter. We have enjoyed having them with us for the past month and hope next summer when they return to the Island they will join with us again. Smug's next performance will be the Potentate's Visit on October 10th, 2009.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Beginnings

Smug was privileged today to have two visitors, who we hope will become regular members, at least for the spring,summer and fall seasons.They were Heidi and Ron Litke, summer residents on PEI from Denver, Colorado. Heidi plays a wonderful ukulele(s) and Rob a wonderful bass, which was a first for Smug, and gave the group a rich sound that suggested a bass has been needed for some time. Heidi and Rob treated Smug to a couple of duets after morning coffee and Joanne's coffee cake. The Smugulele that followed took a different turn with some impromptu jamming, which included the trying out of Heidi's Beansprout Banjo ukulele, and enriched with Rob's bass playing. Heidi is a partner in the Beansprout Company along with Aaron Keim. She has also directed the Denver Ukulele Orchestra for two years. Heidi and Rob have been regular attenders at the International Ukulele Ceilidh in Liverpool,Nova Scotia, since its inception and are looking forward to a return in October, having made many friends at the Ceilidh over the years.Heidi tracked down several members of Smug through the Ceilidh committee earlier this week. They are both Canadians from Ontario and discovered PEI during a summer golf excursion.Rob and Heidi moved to Denver in 1986 after completing their education where Heidi first worked as a Forest Ranger. Members of Smug who attended this morning's Smugulele were delighted to have them join in the fun and look forward to having them become members when on the Island. Smug are presently preparing for a performance at St. John's Anglican Church in Milton on Sept 20th.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Smug in Stanhope

The second annual Smugulele and barbecue took place today at the Campbell summer home in Stanhope, PEI. 14 Smuggers turned up and made the comment which was quoted at last weeks Smugulele, "Feed them and They Will Come", a true one for sure. The host promised more than one hamburger for each this year, and was true to his word. Barbecued hamburgers were supplemented by Salads Ziegler, and Pop and Chips Acorn, along with Deviled Eggs Steeves, and there were some molasses cookies there for coffee time as well. Barry did the barbecuing and Leah and Darlene(and Bob) did the work, which left nothing for David to do.(Smart Guy!) Vera had cut her finger during onion cutting, but it turned out not to need a band-aid after all.

Ron and David kept the singing going and Allison again graced the group with his handsome bass playing, until almost noon, when there was a call from the front room for food, so we had to stop and get cracking, er, cooking. It was a great Smugulele and comments were made about how much better we are sounding and keeping in time as well.The temperature in the cottage was 35 degrees when we left(that's 95 degrees F for our American friends), but too many mosquitos to sit outside so close to the trees.

We had received a DVD and a CD from Dianne Sutton, leader of YesterUkes from Laurens, South Carolina, just yesterday and everyone was anxious to hear another ukulele band. Dianne and many of the YesterUkes have written to us and passed along encouragement. They have proven to be very popular in their area with sometimes two or three performances weekly throughout the year. We all send them our good health wishes and a happy strumming. We're not sure where they get the energy to perform so often, but the CD and DVD are wonderful and as professional as they have become.

Everyone who could make it enjoyed the singing, playing and eating,and we realize we are still having fun in spite of the odd pressure that creeps in every so often.The kitchen was clean and we wrapped up at 1 p.m.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Smug made their first church appearance on July 26,2009, at Park Royal United Church . The program was made up of eight numbers which were performed before, during and after the service by 14 Smuggers to a fairly large congregation, considering it was in the summer.Many of the congregation are on holidays, including the minister and choir director. The former Park Royal choir director, now retired,Les Hiscott, invited Smug to help him with the music program, so some hymns were played and sung with organ accompaniment and some without. The service was conducted by the associate Barbara Cairns assisted with the reading of scripture by Marilyn Kennedy. Smug performed two selections for the anthem, Just a Closer Walk With Thee and I'll Fly away. The appreciative congregation gave wonderful applause which warmed the Smug hearts and left us a bit "smug" maybe.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our Friends at Andrews of Stratford

Smug performed at Andrews of Stratford, in Stratford Prince Edward Island on Saturday, July 18th, 2009, for many of the residents . Only our second public performance, we are still getting our "sea legs" as the seafarers say, but enthusiastic none the less. Smug performed a short program consisting of seven selections, then passed out songsheets so the residents could sing along with the ukuleles. We were all treated to coffee and muffins at coffee-break time and moved out to the deck for a few more selections before closing the program.

It would be the hope of Smug and the activity director of Andrews that some of the residents might show some interest in playing in a small ukulele group this fall for their own enjoyment. Smug has expressed a willingness to participate in helping to make this happen.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Friends Everywhere

Back in early April, Smug met up with a group of ukulele players from South Carolina on the internet (where else?).They are the YesterUkes, and have a very busy schedule of playing at many locations all around the State on an almost weekly basis. Since that time we have corresponded with several of the group and their leader, who has been very helpful to us and provided new songs and ideas as we get our feet wet at this ukulele thing. Many very positive comments and words of encouragement have come our way and we are most appreciative. When Smug first began it was our intention to have weekly jams and a bit of fellowship, but a couple of invitations to perform for others has given us a appetite to do more of this sort of thing. This is where YesterUkes have been so helpful and we thank them all for their support. No, we didn't copy the colour of their sweaters, it happened by accident!


A month ago, through the Internet again, we met up with another group in Dundas, Ontario, String Along. We find the leaders of the group, Norm and Elayne Ruplens, are retired school teachers who have taught ukulele in schools in their area for many years, and since retiring have continued to do so, as well as do weekly jams with a local group. Last week at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, they had a jam which was well attended. You will note in the photo, many of the players are playing Ohana ukuleles; Norm and Elayne are the Canadian dealers. Having ordered a new uke from them is how we got together and I find they have plans to attend the Ceilidh in Liverpool with many of us, and bring some of their group along as well.We look forward to getting to meet them and hopefully get a chance to see and play some Ohanas.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Smug's First Video with a Lot of Heart

Smug makes first video" Heart of My Heart" taken on the debut of their new T-Shirts

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Smug makes first Nursing Home Appearance

Today saw Smug perform along with the Park Royal United Church Breakfast Club Singers at the Prince Edward Home In Charlottetown. It was their first appearance to an audience other than Masons or Shriners and the accolades handed out were humbling to say the least. The Park Royal Singers are well seasoned performers with wonderful soloists, several piano players and a violin virtuso to boot. They make wonderful music which was much appreciated by the large crowd in attendance. Several of their number are also Smuggers. Jeff Cook, the activity director at the Prince Edward Home was very complimentary to Smug as it was the first time ukulele players had performed at the home. Smug did have a Saturday morning practice at Andrews of Stratford about a month ago, and although almost every resident turned out to see and hear the group, they also sang along with every tune they knew, and what was supposed to be a practice really turned into a two hour performance.

Monday, May 18, 2009

SMUG hits the web!

Hello, folks - and welcome to the blog for the Saturday Morning Ukulele Group, known colloquially as SMUG.

We're a group of friends who have fun and fellowship playing that greatest of all little instruments, the ukulele.

Under the direction of David C., our illustrious bandmaster, we plink and plunk our way through a plethora of tunes, both old and new.

Why do we do it? Playing the ukulele is a blast, and the basics of the instrument are easy - anyone can learn - but it offers the ability to advance to more complicated techniques. It's the perfect social instrument!

We're located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island . . . the capital of Canada's smallest province.

Keep watching this blog for more information!
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