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HUG NEWS 72 23rd Dec 20

I heard a rumour that it will soon be Christmas Day! Crickey, it nearly passed me by! Suppose I better get out there and start the Christmas shop a day earlier than usual, face mask on, Hand sanitiser and learn to be 2 metres from others (some hope). You cant beat a good old panic buy so I will be stocking up on all the things we don't need just in case they run out!

Christmas Concert, well we made it and I at least had a good time. I do hope you enjoyed the efforts of all the contributors and that each one of them had fun doing their songs. In hind sight I might not have attempted it but I am glad we did.

It was heartening to see the metrics from Twitch that we had over 100 viewers consistently.

The likely hood is that figure was largely driven by the HUG membership tuning in and encouraging friends and family to view. It is impossible to know how many from the U3A wider membership actually viewed the Concert. My instinct is not that many as I have seen no feedback either good or bad that would indicate that people did indeed view.

Certainly some Trustees viewed and I received lovely emails praising all of your efforts and asking me to pass this on to you which I gladly do. Nonetheless I am pleased that we did it it and it was enjoyed by HUG Members.

I actually reran the concert last night and we had about 25 of you watching. I had edited the concert during the day and with 30 minutes to spare got it loaded on to our Youtube Channel. This meant I could sit back and watch for myself!

It was such fun to do the 12 ukes of Christmas as a last minute inclusion.

Now that I have rerun the Concert, I have made the Christmas Concert available on our Youtube Channel HUGUKULELE plus all of the individual songs used. They are now for Public viewing so you may view them whenever you wish. Plus of course invite family and friends to do so (don't forget to ask them to subscribe to our Channel, it's free to do so and Like the videos!).

It was so good to be able to capture the event for posterity. I know you will join me in giving a very big thank you to all the contributors for their efforts and hard work in producing songs and poems and visuals for the event. There is no doubt we have embraced the U3a ethos of having fun whilst learning. Not for us standing still or seeing problems and only sticking with the old way of doing things! Take stock and just see how far each of us has developed in less than a year by embracing a can do attitude. Thank you all.

On the theme of going forward, we have a challenge to write Original Songs for us to premier early in the New Year. It was so good to record our first Album! I created a Playlist for them called NOW THATS WHAT I CALL HUG ORIGINALS 1. So now lets do another collection of Originals! NOW THATS WHAT I CALL HUG ORIGINALS 2! Any theme will be great and of course any instrument also, it doesn't have to be on Ukes but Ukes are very welcome.

Poetry has been a strong point for us. Not surprising because we naturally embrace lyrics in songs and how they tell a story in few words of rhyme. So please do keep the Poems coming for us to share.

Blues Course, we have now completed 5 lessons in the Blues Course and it has been a pleasure to learn along side the 8 tackling the course. I have tried to introduce the many facets of the Blues so as to encourage each to instinctively interpret songs using the styles and techniques we have been learning. The blues is played with feeling and should never be mechanical! We are taking a short break over Christmas and then will push on going further into the Blues. Thanks go to each of the participants for their dedication and embracing of on line learning that holds its own unique challenges for us.

It does look as if we will be meeting virtually for some time and so we will make the most of it and continue to enjoy ourselves whilst playing our favourites and learning new songs.

So you see there is method in the madness and the Christmas Concert has given us the methodology for collaborating together and videoing songs. This is something I will progress next year and take those who would like to through the steps of collaborating in a way that makes it easier for videos to be produced.

CHRISTMAS DAY, we have streamed continuously since we first started and I want to keep that going. So on Christmas Morning I will briefly switch on the stream to allow us to share best wishes whilst playing for you some Christmas Carols performed by members of HUG. most of which are entirely new and not previously screened. Plus the poems for Christmas. It will be for about half an hour and you are welcome to come on and chat with friends and share what Santa brought you.

I will also stream on New Years Day at the normal time and of course for any who can join us we will play some songs together to blow away the cobwebs and celebrate a New Year and all the possibilities it brings.

It just remains for me to wish each of you your family, friends and loved ones from whom you are apart a very Happy Christmas in these unique and challenging times.

Finally a huge thankyou to all the members of HUG for allowing me the privilege of Leading such a wonderful and talented group of people, I am humbled by your support.

Love Dave

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