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NEWCASTLE UKERS WIN GOLD IN MELBOURNE

Members of the Newcastle Ukestra wowed audiences at the Melbourne Ukulele festival last weekend, taking out the award for best performance. Around twenty players from the Newcastle Ukestra and its sister groups at Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Port Stephens earned a standing ovation following their dazzling performance with songs inluding Catch My Disease. Groups from throughout Australia also played at the festival. The accolade caps the first major festival performance of the Newcastle Ukestra, which now has its sights set on the Hawaiian Uke Festival in July. http://www.nbntv.com.au/index.php/2010/11/15/ukulele-revival-newcastle-ukestra/

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NEWCASTLE UKERS TO STAR IN MELBOURNE

Ukulele players from the Hunter will take to the stage at this weekend’s Melbourne Ukulele Festival. (Feb 25 – March 1) Around twenty players from the Newcastle Ukestra and its sister groups at Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Port Stephens will perform a half hour set as part of the Melbourne festival which was held for the first time last year. Ukestra founder Mark Jackson says “it’s the first major festival performance for the group, which has played at a range of smaller events over the last year.” Jackson formed the Newcastle Ukestra 18 months ago with a handful of players and the membership has since exploded to 150 people across the Hunter region. He also teaches Ukulele in schools. The tiny stringed instrument has been around for more than a century after Portuguese immigrants took it to Hawaii, but Australia …

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