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Youngsters enjoy lots of ukulele fun at Norwich festival

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:30 02 February 2017

Children's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Newton Flotman Primary School playing their song.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Children's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Newton Flotman Primary School playing their song. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Young musicians enjoyed a day of ukulele fun at a special festival celebrating the instrument.

Children's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Newton Flotman Primary School playing their song.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYChildren's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Newton Flotman Primary School playing their song. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Armed with their colourful instruments, about 95 pupils from seven schools took part in the Children’s Ukulele Festival at The Garage in Norwich yesterday for World Play Your Ukulele Day.

Pupils took part from Avenue Junior, Mulbarton Infant, Mulbarton Junior, Little Melton Primary, Newton Flotman Primary, Recreation Road Infant and West Earlham Infant. They had a great time in workshops, before joining in with a big strum-along and presenting performances which ranged from a rendition of Yellow Submarine to the song, We all play the ukulele, what do we play - the ukulele! The teachers and support staff were also given crash courses in the four-stringed instrument and everyone was also treated to a performance from The Ukulele Banana Band.

Ukulele tutor Clara Wiseman, who is outreach coordinator at The Garage and part of ILOVEUKE, said: “It was to celebrate, motivate and inspire. All the children already play the ukulele so we thought it would be nice to bring them altogether to share what they have learned and learn some new stuff and play together.”

She said the children put on some amazing performances.

Children's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Newton Flotman Primary School playing their song.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYChildren's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Newton Flotman Primary School playing their song. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“It was a big deal for them coming to The Garage and playing on a city stage,” she said.

Mulbarton Junior pupils Annabel Jenkinson and Polly Carey, both eight, and Ava Walker, nine, were among those taking part.

Annabel said: “I like playing the ukulele because it is fun, and I liked watching everybody else performing in the theatre.”

Recreation Road Infant pupils Isla Ablewhite and Clara Hickman, both seven, and Rose Cooper-McCaul, six, said they were excited to hear The Ukulele Banana Band.

Children's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Little Melton, Mulbarton, Recreation Road and Newton Flotman Primary Schools playing their song.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYChildren's Ukulele Festival. Pupils from Little Melton, Mulbarton, Recreation Road and Newton Flotman Primary Schools playing their song. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

When asked why they enjoyed the ukulele, Isla said: “I like that in your group you can make new friends. I like the ukulele because you can sing and you can play and you can do some dances.”

Amira Barnard and Billy Guyton, both seven, were among the pupils from West Earlham Infant and Nursery School.

Amira said: “Why I like the ukulele? One, because it is exciting, two, because anyone can play it, three, because it is just extraordinary...It was really, really great being part of the festival.”

Billy added: “The sound [of the ukulele] is really, really good...My favourite part [of the festival] was when everyone went on stage and showed their performances.”

Children's Ukulele Festival. The teachers showing off their new skills.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYChildren's Ukulele Festival. The teachers showing off their new skills. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The event was funded by The National Foundation for Youth Music and co-hosted by ILOVEUKE which runs ukulele clubs in schools across Norwich and South Norfolk. A beginners’ ukulele course for children aged seven to 11 is starting at The Garage on February 20. For more information, call 01603 283382.

The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. Photo: Archant.
The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. Photo: Archant.

The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. 
Pictured are Mulbarton Junior School pupils Annabel Jenkinson, Ava Walker and Polly Carey.
Photo: Archant.The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. Pictured are Mulbarton Junior School pupils Annabel Jenkinson, Ava Walker and Polly Carey. Photo: Archant.

The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day.
Pictured are West Earlham Infant and Nursery School pupils Amira Barnard and Billy Guyton.
Photo: Archant.The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. Pictured are West Earlham Infant and Nursery School pupils Amira Barnard and Billy Guyton. Photo: Archant.

The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. 
Pictured are Recreation Road Infant School pupils Clara Hickman, Rose Cooper-McCaul and Isla Ablewhite.
Photo: Archant.The Garage hosted the Children’s Ukulele Festival for World Play Your Ukulele Day. Pictured are Recreation Road Infant School pupils Clara Hickman, Rose Cooper-McCaul and Isla Ablewhite. Photo: Archant.

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