Mark 'Spanky' Gutierrez's Blog

It's Me.. Honest Its Me!!

2011 Ukulele Hoopla Review

The Ukulele Hoopla came and went like a crazy anxiety dream that had a story book ending. This was our real first go of it and I was so pleased with the results. I have so many people to thank.

We had participants from KC, Lincoln, Omaha, Missouri, and JAPAN. No, I am not kidding some folks came all the way from Japan to our Ukulele Hoopla in Omaha Ne. We had an ice breaker/jam the night before the hoopla. It was so nice to have the artists and some of the participants bust out the ukes and howl at the moon. I would have to say the folks from KC really went all out and made the night. It was a great way to start off the evening.

The day of the Hoopla got started pretty early for the staff and artists. We were all on site by 08:00 AM and as Pop’s said, thats no time for a musician to be up! The sign in table ran like clock work and we were pleasantly surprised by the attendance numbers.

The artists all gave classes during the day and from the feedback we got most of them were very well received. We also had one section of the day set aside for a question and answer session. I think that might have been my favorite. Great questions and very helpful answers. That was really a lot of fun.

The concert was awesome and way TOO long. After such an action packed day a 2.5 hour concert was way too much but to be honest I loved every minute of it. I had invited so many of my dear friends to come perform. It was like a dream come true to see everybody on stage, right here in my home town. Everybody sounded great, the top moments for me were:

Rebecca Lowry, busts out with a full band and melts a room full of hearts with those silly little love songs

Kimo Hussey, just lets that uke ring out arrangement after arrangement that all say “aloha my dear friends”

Pop’s pulls a ballad out that he wrote about the civil war. I nearly cried, great song writing and really great delivery

Brook Adams, has this crazy little shark song that just had me in stitches.

Then I finally got to take the stage, with my band mates Heather, JD and Mike. It seemed so strange to be on the UNO stage with my buds. I remember looking back over my shoulder at Mike our drummer, he had his jam face on and when our eyes locked for a just a second, he blew me a kiss. I damn near dropped my uke. I just had to laugh.

The night was over and we packed it all up in 30 minutes and it was over. Months of planning, months of talking about it and then it was just over. I had that feeling of shock for about a month after the event but now, when I think about it, I get that little grin and a  desire to do it all again.

Some special “mahalo” goes out to the Omaha Creative Institute. They were with me every step of the way. We did all of our planning and then they executed with amazing accuracy. Susan and Leigh from OCI are the best team I could have asked for. The artists that came out really did a fine job. Thanks so much to Kimo, Pops, Brook, Rebecca and my dear friends JD, Heather and Mike. If I ever get to share a stage again, I hope you are all on the same bill. What would it be without the participants? You all were great, thanks for showing up and making it just a wonderful time.

We will do it next year? Stay tuned… and keep a little time on your September 2012 calendar free!

Love

Spanky

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One thought on “2011 Ukulele Hoopla Review

  1. I really enjoyed the Hoopla. It was great having the facility with classrooms for the teaching sessions. Every instructor was great–Mark, Kimo, Heather and Pops for my classes–and the concert was just amazing. I got in too late on Friday for the session at the motel and hope to make that next year.

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