Monday, 23 December 2013

Our 3rd Annual Retreat is Ready To Go

Easter Weekend : 18th to 22nd April, 2014.

We’ve held our planning sessions with Kimo Hussey and the tutors in Hawaii and back in Oz. We went through all the feedback from the 2013 retreat, which was overwhelmingly positive (thank you!) and has led to some exciting changes for 2014.

Getting the Band Back Together.

Kimo Hussey will be back again for 
4 Wise Men (+ Scott)
his third retreat - neither the long flight nor the brisk weather could keep him away. Sam and Lucy Lemann will also be back, as will AJ Leonard and Jenny Rowlands, and Scott Wise. They’ve been travelling to retreats and festivals across Australia and internationally – Hawaii, China, New Zealand, USA – yet still can’t wait to get back to Albany. Unfortunately Zanuck can't make it next year.

We are also likely to host five students from Hawaii (yes, the home of the ukulele). They’ve already said they’re keen to come and are just waiting for us to open registration.

Registration will open on Monday, 13th January, 2014. Online registration will be available on this site. The numbers are definitely capped again at 50. As we’ve explained before, this allows all students to attend the same classes together, with all tutors present at each session. Most other retreats split students up across different sessions, which allows for a much bigger intake, but limits the ability of the tutors to run a programme that builds on itself as the sessions progress.

This does put a bit more pressure on our budget, as costs have risen while the number of students have not. Even though we run the retreat on a shoestring, we won’t cut corners on the main items: the best tutors, great food and a beautiful location. (And great news about the bunk beds: we’ll have new ones next year!)

Significant changes in the 2014 Program.

We’ve retained the best features of 2013 and added some great new stuff. (Program)

A common theme in the feedback was that four solid sessions a day was a lot of information to absorb, especially for the less experienced players. So in the 2014 programme the  first 3 workshop sessions of each day will remain the same. Kimo, Sam & Lucy and AJ & Jenny will take these. The 4th session will be a review with all the tutors, of the 3 previous sessions that day. You’ll be able to ask for clarification on anything you didn’t quite get.

The most common suggestion from this year’s students was to include vocal classes at the next retreat. The ukulele is meant to be accompanied by singing, whether solo or in groups, but many players are a bit shy to croak along, while others would love to learn more about creating harmonies and so on. So we’re delighted to announce that Teresa Hughes, a local Albany musician, choir and guitar/ukulele teacher, will be joining the team of tutors to run vocal sessions (Tutors).

We will also continue to have voluntary Breakout Sessions at the end of the day. These were previously called One-on-Ones, which was a bit of a misnomer. This year, the tutors will each conduct one-hour sessions on a variety of subjects they feel will be of further interest to you. Subjects could include genres, like Blues, Jazz, Latin and so on, or Lead/Melody playing, Chords Beyond the 3rd Fret, Transpositions – whatever they reckon you’d like to learn more about. This is also when Teresa will be conducting her Vocal Sessions. Attendance will be optional, so you’re also free to practice on your own, or just relax if you prefer.