October 10, 2012

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By Kathryn Kopchik

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will perform in concert Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

The performance will have an audience participation component. Local ukulele players are encouraged to download the music, chords, and watch the video tutorial for "Relentlessly in C" at http://www.bucknell.edu/Ukes.xml.

The event is sponsored in part by The Standard Journal and PPL Corporation and its affiliates.

Kathryn Maguet, executive director of the Weis Center, says, "For an entertaining and musically astounding evening, you can't beat the wildly popular Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. They've sold out performances all over the world and now they're making their way to Lewisburg. This terrifically fun live band has a huge reputation with audiences and esteemed artists around the globe. Their popularity is soaring due to their rollicking concerts and the huge comeback of the ukulele."

The Orchestra was formed in 1985 as a bit of fun, but the first gig was an instant sell-out, and they've been performing ever since. By 1988 they had released an LP, appeared on BBC TV, played at WOMAD and recorded a BBC Radio 1 session.

The ensemble, which has been playing together for more than 20 years, has given thousands of sold-out concerts across the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. They also have performed sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House (2012), New York's Carnegie Hall (2010) and The Royal Albert Hall (2008). They are returning to the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall in late 2012.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has given rise to ukulele groups in nearly every major city. Their music has been used in films, plays, and commercials, while film clips of their live concerts and TV appearances on websites such as YouTube have been watched millions of times. Collaborators have included Madness, David Arnold, The British Film Institute, The Ministry of Sound, Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and The Kaiser Chiefs.

A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra has been called "a funny, virtuosic, twanging, awesome, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the 'bonsai guitar' and a menagerie of voices in a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. There are no drums, pianos, backing tracks or banjos, no pitch shifters or electronic trickery, only an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling)."

Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62 and over, and $10 for children 18 and under and are available at www.bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the box office at 570.577.1000.

The next event in the Weis Center's series is a free jazz event by Ben Williams and Sound Effect on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Theatre in downtown Lewisburg. Williams, who performs on electric bass and piano, incorporates R&B and hip-hop into his work. His musical influence is rooted in various genres of music including jazz, hip-hop, R&B, gospel, and classical.

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach coordinator, at 570.577.3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.facebook.com/WeisCenter or www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

Contact: Division of Communications