Author: Peter Alexander

BOULDER WEEKLY: It will be ukuleles and a Broadway witch for the holidays

Ah, the holiday season. That wonderful time for your favorite carols, colored lights, egg nog and — ukuleles?

Sure enough, it’s all part of the eclectic mix of holiday music on the Boulder classical scene, featuring not only the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, but also Elphaba from the Broadway hit Wicked, alongside other events that have become part of the annual December concert schedule. The perennial best-sellers — the Nutcrackers and the CU Holiday Festival — are already behind us, but there is still plenty of music to look forward to.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) will be at Macky Auditorium Thursday (7:30 p.m. Dec. 8) as part of the CU Presents series. Known for their iconoclastic, not to say wacky, programming, the group promises to perform their usual combination of rock and pop covers, including music from Joni Mitchell and Pharrell Williams, some jazz and country songs, and classic Christmas carols.

The group’s origin is almost mythological. When he was child, founder George Hinchcliffe w sas given the choice of a model train or a ukulele. Unexpectedly, he chose the uke, and eventually banded together with other aficionados to form the eight-member singing and strumming “orchestra.”

Playing instruments known more for their association with Tiny Tim and Hawaiian ballads than whatever you might consider “serious music,” the UOGB has become popular embracing the ukulele’s light-hearted image. They mug gleefully in their publicity photos — no glamour shots for them — and even invite Boulderites to bring their own ukuleles to the concert for a sing-along, play-along session during the concert.

Upcoming Events View all events

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy

Loading
Dec 17, 2019

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy

A Celtic Family Christmas
Full price: $22-$87

The holidays truly become a family affair when married duo Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy—two of the globe's best and brightest fiddle play...

Cirque Mechanics

Loading
Jan 17, 2020

Cirque Mechanics

42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels
Full price: $20-$80

Cirque Mechanics' latest theatrical invention brings the lore of the one-ring circus to historic Macky Auditorium. With exhilarating thrills, death-de...

A Far Cry

Loading
Feb 8, 2020

A Far Cry

Memory
Full price: $15-$66

Known for its innovative, unpredictable approach, the conductor-less, Grammy-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry offers a fresh perspective on Mozart...

Latest News View all news items

Dec 10, 2019

Cirque Mechanics honors iconic one-ring…

On Friday, Jan. 17, Cirque Mechanics will bring the iconic lore of…

Nov 5, 2019

This December, the holidays are…

Nova Scotia native Natalie MacMaster came from a musical family. She grew…

Oct 8, 2019

Beethoven, the Avant-gardist

Though he is now known as one of the most remarkable classical…