Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Nicole Presley

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is bringing their ukuleles and one “bonsai guitar” to Stephens auditorium Nov. 7. The orchestra encourages the audience to bring their ukuleles to the show and join them in the song American Girl by Tom Petty.

The chords are provided on the Iowa State Center website.

The original eight-member band started playing in pubs in 1985 and the current members of the band has been performing together for the past 20 years.

“We started off in local pubs just for a bit of fun. We were all doing the kind of music and projects and thought this would be the antidote…. We’ve kept doing it ever since,” said George Hinchliffe, one of the members of the ukulele orchestra.

 Before the orchestra, the members came from various backgrounds of work, such as a film composer to a hairdresser to a bus driver.  

The orchestra arranges all of the songs that they perform and have several CD’s and DVD’s for sale from live and studio productions. 

“Usually we try to stay very faithful to the tapes and the melody and the harmonies,” said Hinchliffe.

The ukulele orchestra usually does about 120 shows a year. Most of their shows involve international traveling so their performances are usually away from home.

The band hopes to keep touring and playing their Ukuleles together as long as they can.

 Finishing the interview with a joke Hinchliffe said, “Did you hear about the musician who won the lottery? He said that he was gonna take all the money from the bank and gig and gig until it’s all gone. Ha. Ha.”