Houkulele: The Houston Ukulele Social Club

Houkulele is a growing, active bunch of players. Our membership welcomes players of any age or experience level.

If you live in the Houston, Texas area you are encouraged to join us even if you’ve yet to learn a single chord - we’re here to help one another grow as both players and enthusiasts. We strive to be welcoming, friendly and fun!

Our primary web presence and communication hub can be found on Facebook.

 

Upcoming Events

Friday, July 8, 2016

Houston Ukestration Workshop, Monday, July 25th


Ukulele Workshop Coming!!! Sign Up Today!!!

Date: Monday, July 25
Time: 7-9pm
Location: My home in the Houston Heights (will send details to those who register)
Cost: $30

Since 2010 Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart have been building an international reputation for unique, entertaining and educational "Ukestration" workshops. Their home is in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, but they have had the privilege of delivering workshops in Canada, Vietnam, and the USA. Over 1500 students altogether in the last 6 years.

Ukestration is where contemporary songs are arranged into parts for a ukulele orchestra. The very essence of a ukestra is inclusion, so the parts cater to a wide range of abilities. The workshop will help you stretch skills, have lots of fun, and contribute to a musical whole that is truly greater than the sum of the parts!

I look forward to seeing you there!

- Kenneth Fowler

Use this link to register for the workshop:
http://www.thesumoftheparts.com.au/ukestration-and-leadership/houston/

Check out Mark and Jane's web site for more info and videos:
ukestration.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Galveston Mardi Gras 2016 - Times, Bus Transport, and More!

All Ya all,

I talked with the Krewe this afternoon and here is the latest you should be aware of.  Also note I have put together some maps showing the Moody Garden Parking Garage/Parade Start at the Galveston Convention Center and the Parade End near the Galveston Cruise Ship Terminal and the Train Museum.
  1. Parade starts from/near the Galveston Convention Center on Seawall Blvd at 6:00 PM Saturday, January 30th.
  2. The Krewe of Gambrinus buses start loading a 3:00 PM to take participants from the Moody Garden Convention Center Parking Garage at 1 Hope Road in Galveston to the “Party Zone” at the parade start.  There are 5 buses and when the last one leaves that will be the end of the Krewe transport from Moody to the Parade start.  It is estimated that the last bus will leave the parking garage at 3:30 to 3:45 PM. They leave as they are filled.
  3. If you miss the Krewe buses come to the Galveston Convention Center on the Seawall and park in their parking structure.  The Seawall will be closed from 61st Street East, but you can get to the Convention Center by taking off before you get to the Seawall and come in the back way from say 57th or so (see the map).  When you get to the Houkulele Truck/Trailer ask around and get a ride from one of the others that made the Krewe buses from Moody to bring you back to your car at the Convention Center at the parade end.
  4. The parade will end near the Galveston Cruise Terminal and the Krewe Buses will be waiting at the Train Museum to take you back to Moody Gardens.
Housekeeping Items:
  • We will have water and Gatorade in a cooler
  • There will be some spare Kazoos at the trailer and beads to pass out to the crowd
  • Please don’t bring your hard cases to the trailer (there is very little spare room)
  • Dress appropriately, it most likely will be cool later on in the evening
  • If you have a ukulele that is capable of being plugged into an amp, please bring it.
Bring your enthusiasm!
- Dave Skodack

PS You can download a PDF file of the parade/parking locations here.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Galveston Mardi Gras 2016 - Parking/Transport/After-Party

All Ya all,

I talked with Larry Thompson our Krewe of Gambrinus coordinator and he has graciously set up parking and transport for us for the parade.

Parade Start:

The Krewe is putting on buses for their own members (and us) from the Moody Gardens Parking Garage to the start of the parade which is directly across from the Galveston Convention Center on Seawall Blvd.  Their buses will start running around 3:00 pm and will most likely stop around 4:30 pm or a little sooner so that all of their members can get to the “Party Zone”, those events start around 4:00 pm.  We are invited to tag along on these so please park at the parking garage or near it and follow the people to the front of the parking garage and board a bus.  It will take you near the start of the parade and our truck/trailer will quite near to that.  If you are asked who you are with...just say “Houkulele and Larry Thompson asked us to hitch rides with you all.”

For those who cannot make the Krewe buses from Moody Gardens or prefer to come later then you should come to the Galveston Convention Center and park there and make your way to the “Party Zone” or Parade Start area and find us.

Parade End:

The parade ends near the Galveston Cruise Terminal...we should be directed to follow the floats to the front of the Train Museum which is where the Krewe buses will be to pick-up the Krewe members and us and transport everyone back to Moody Gardens.  If for some reason we are guided by the police to the Cruise Terminal Parking lot (where normal band buses are staged) don’t panic...it is only a short walk to the Train Museum to catch the Krewe buses.  I would ask that those who parked at the Galveston Convention Center board the Krewe buses and ask around our group and see if they can catch a ride with someone who has parked at the Moody Garden Parking Garage to take them to the Convention Center so they can pick up their cars.  Please...if you are asked to ferry these members be gracious and concede a ride.

Post Parade After-Party:

Larry Thompson has invited Houkulele members to join the Krewe at Moody Gardens for their Post Parade After-Party.  The cost is $35.00 a head (same as the Krewe) and there will be adult refreshments and a breakfast served as well as a live band and dancing.  If anyone is interested please let me know so I can give a count to the Krewe.

Regards,
- Dave Skodack

Monday, January 11, 2016

Galveston Mardi Gras 2016 - Latest Info

All Ya all,

Here are some of the plans and details of the Mardis Gras Parade you should be aware of.

1) Parade is Saturday January 30, 2015 Galveston, TX

2) “The Circus” is the theme. Costumes appropriate to the theme are desired. Decoration of the Truck/trailer to be conventional Mardis Gras colors as year’s past. (If anyone has some stuffed circus type animals they would be willing to be allowed to be added to the decorations, they would be welcome...please not your child’s favorite because it may be inadvertently misplaced or damaged)

3) Songs and chords have been/will be posted on this site...please practice!

4) There will be Gatorade and water available. BYOB if you want something else.

5) We will be placed in the Float section rather than the Marching Band Section
  • Truck/trailer to be assembled on Thursday afternoon-and Friday in West Isle on Galveston Island. (If you are available to help assemble on Friday let me know) Final decoration touches to be done after spotting in the parade lineup on Saturday.
  • Sound check on equipment on the Truck/trailer Friday evening
  • Truck/trailer to be at Avenue G and 44th at 0900am on Saturday morning to be spotted in place and then proceed with the Floats under police escort to the Seawall Blvd. (Should be in place by 11:00am, expect spot between 57th and 59th Streets)
  • Finish decorations on the Truck/trailer at the Seawall

6) We are invited to PLAY and play in the Krewe “Party Section” before the parade (we get fed)
and can warm up on our pieces (not expected to perform a concert)
  • Participants in the “Party Section” to be in place by 4:00pm b. “Party Section” lasts from 4:15pm to 5:30pm

7) Parade scheduled to start at 6:00pm The parade route runs along Seawall Boulevard, turns north on 25th Street and winds through the Historic Strand District in downtown Galveston. Parade duration is about two and one-half hours and ends near the Galveston Cruise ship Terminal.

8) Transport: The Krewe of Gambrinus has offered to help us again this year. They are going to bus their participants back from the parade end to Moody Gardens, (where their after‐party is). We could hitch some rides with them so that personnel can get to Moody Gardens if they will park their private vehicles there and carpool to the start of the parade. The parade start is near the Galveston Convention Center Parking Garage.

Since we have to somehow get people shuttled from 1) Moody Gardens (to the parade start), 2) Parade end (most likely walk to where the Krewe catches their buses) to Moody Gardens, 3) Moody Gardens to Galveston Convention Center (parade start if people park there or for car pools from Moody Gardens).

Parking at the Galveston Convention Center (5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551) is a two story parking garage located directly below the Convention Center with over 700 parking spaces. There are two entrances on 57th street and one entrance in the Hilton parking lot. The parking
is complimentary.

There are ample parking spaces at Moody Gardens as well.

Regards,
- Dave Skodack

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Galveston Mardi Gras 2016 - Sign-up!

Planning to join us for the Krewe of Gambrinus Galveston Parade on January 30th? Great! Here's your chance to sign-up:
2016 Krewe of Gambrinus Galveston Parade Sign-up

UPDATE: Sign-up is closed.  Still want to join us?  Come on down! 

Galveston Mardi Gras 2016 - It's time to practice!

January 30th will be here before you know it! Now's the time to practice the songs we'll be playing during the parade:

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Galveston Mardi Gras 2016 - Saturday, January 30th

Time to start thinking about Mardis Gras in Galveston, and our parade sponsors The Krewe of Gambrinus!

I just received our official invitation, to which I responded affirmatively. The parade is Saturday the 30th of January this year. Parade starts at 6:00 pm on the Seawall near the Convention Center. The theme is "Circus" so any appropriate costume would be welcome. Details still to be worked out, but will most likely be similar to last year.

I have received suggestions for songs that should work:
  • "Man on the Flying Trapeze"
  • a rendition of "March of the Gladiators" (on Kazoos of course)
  • the same for "Baby Elephant Walk"
  • "Saints Go Marching In"
  • a 12 bar blues filler
Any other suggestions welcome. Eric Hesson has agreed to provide a practice video like last year.

The following is excerpted from our invitation:

Dear Band Directors,

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it is time to begin preparations for the upcoming Mardi Gras festivities in Galveston. The 27th annual Krewe of Gambrinus "Lights up the Night" parade will occur on Saturday evening January 30. Staging will begin after 4 pm along Seawall Boulevard with the parade commencing at 6 pm. Band members will be guided into their starting positions by parade officials dressed in RED suits.

Band buses should approach Seawall Blvd on 59th Street, offload their participants at Maco Street and exit northbound along 57th Street. Buses will then proceed to the waiting area located at the Cruise Ship parking lot on 25th Street and Harbourside Dr. The parade will terminate at the intersection of 25th Street and Strand where all bands will be directed to the buses.

The theme of this year's parade is "The Circus." The Honorary Parade Marshall is Beaver Aplin who is the founder of the popular Buc-ee's chain of Texas convenience stores. His personal float will lead our large parade with over sixty participating groups which includes thirteen bands. Expected attendance should exceed 200,000.

More to come...
- Dave Skodack