Sunday, July 27, 2014


SMUG had their 6th Annual Summer Picnic yesterday in Stanhope. Everyone brought a ton of food as expected, and Barry cooked up the sausages at noon, just before the desserts. It was great and unexpected to have Ron drop in to be with us for the day all the way from Halifax, actually, Mineville. We spent an hour or so singing up a storm, the weather played ball, and I guess the mosquitoes must have left around noon as many enjoyed eating on the decks which freed up a little elbow room. Many thanks to all who brought so much wonderful food, but a lot of it got carried back home. Thanks too for all of your well wishes. Have a great summer.......

A Minute In SONG


Sunday, July 20, 2014


SMUG performed at Central Queens United Church in Hunter River last Sunday the 13th of July and this Sunday, the 20th of July, at St. Andrews United Church in Vernon Bridge. The Reverend Barbara Wagner gave us a hearty welcome in Hunter River, as did the Reverend Boyd Drake in Vernon Bridge. Unfortunately we learned today at St. Andrews that Rev. Boyd is transferring to the province of Quebec in November of this year. He will be greatly missed by this very warm congregation in Vernon Bridge. One of the pleasures of playing at St. Andrews is the participation of their wonderful organist, Lynda Sharpe, as she has always accompanied us on the grand piano.....a rare talent that makes SMUG come across pretty good.
Church Organist and Choir Director Lynda Sharpe
Lynda on The Grand Piano
Rev. Boyd Drake delivers the sermon
Rehearsal on Saturday
Rev. Barbara Wagner tells the Children's Story 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


In the summer of 1958 I had the most wonderful privilege to attend and meet Louis Armstrong at the Charlottetown Forum. He played for almost 5 hours in an evening which will remain paramount in my memory forever, for at that time I was a trumpet player and he was my idol.I also still have his autograph from that evening. But yesterday we all in SMUG had the great honour of enjoying three hours with a world renowned ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro, that I'm sure none of us will ever forget. The day began by our meeting in Allison's yard and proceeding then to Cavendish, where we were met by the Artistic Director of Uku East, Jordan Cameron, and escorted to the "Igloo", a wonderful but dark facility. We were lucky to be able to be there.This of course due to the ongoing hurricane which was present, Arthur.
At 12 noon the decision was made to hold off on opening the venue until 1 p,m..It was probably blowing 100 kph and tents were falling. At 1:15 it was decided that Dennis Wells, our beginners workshop instructor should start his workshop with SMUG, the only participants present.
All of our hats off to Dennis, for the wonderful program and workshop he had prepared for the day, but had to present to his peers,and did it with such finesse and made it so interesting to all of us. After 15-20 minutes into Dennis's lesson Jake arrived with grand applause from those assembled and Dennis graciously gave way to Jake for the rest of the afternoon. To have had the opportunity to spend about two and a half hours with Jake and hear a concert and take a workshop would have to be any ukulele player's dream. But to have his efforts directed towards SMUG only, and to ask us to play for him, and to join us in the playing was almost too much.He played for us, among many others, one of his favourites, "Bohemian Rhapsody", as well as his famous video selection in Central Park, "My Guitar Gently Weeps". What a gracious and humble person is Jake, and every one there had an opportunity to chat with him, ask him questions and to have their picture taken with him. As SMUG I doubt we will ever have such a wonderful opportunity again. When Jake wound up his time with us he wanted to hear us play. So SMUG did a few numbers and Jake joined in with us.
SMUG were followed by The Retrofrets with three more modern songs that it was hard not to get into with them,
and finally our new ukulele friend, Jordan Cameron, provided us with two wonderful numbers that he had written himself.
We have asked ourselves where has Jordan been, but our hat off to him for putting Uke East together and being such a proponent of the ukulele who none of us knew about until a week ago. Jordan, we would love to have you join us any SATURDAY MORNING you might be free. We have fun, and tea, coffee and cookies as well. We all thank you too for being such a wonderful host to us yesterday and it was a pleasure to meet your lovely wife Ashley. My apologies for the arrangement of the photos, but I wanted to get them all on the blog. Those that are not upright I couldn't make them behave, but put them in anyway. Jake's photographer took some group photos and promised to send them to me. If they arrive I will publish them here for you. Sorry Jake is not more prominent in the group photos I took, but he is that kind of guy. I sincerely hope you all enjoyed the day as much as I did, and again we take our hats off to Jordan for making it all possible.