The Ver Players – a ukelele group playing in St Albans – are dedicating their annual 2019 Charity Fund-raiser to Sustainable St Albans. We were thrilled – and decided to have a chat to find out more about the group…
What are the Ver Players, when did they first get going, and where do they meet?
Ver Players is a community ukulele group based in St Albans. Founded in 2012, the group meet once a fortnight to sing, play and unleash their inner creativity. The group alternates between small, focused sessions in St Albans’ The Courtyard Cafe and larger old-fashioned singalongs in the Rose & Crown, a local pub. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get together and experience live music.
How many people involved in the Ver Players?
Ver Players currently has over seventy members of all ages, with an equal gender split* of all ages from fifteen to over eighty. *(Just checked and amazingly the split is exactly: 37 men / 37 women)
Is it only for experienced ukulele players?
No, any ability is absolutely fine. Members typically join as complete beginners before quickly gaining confidence as they realise they can start to produce real music. The open, collaborative spirit ensures a fun and friendly atmosphere to learn, laugh – and ‘lose yourself in the ukulele’!
What is your favourite ukulele tune to play with the group?
It has to be Chuck Berry’s ‘You never can tell’, we’ve been playing this song since we started, and though it’s one of easiest songs we do we haven’t grown tired of it!
What’s the best venue you have ever played?
It was a proud moment to play for the Mayor of St Albans annual ball at Sopwell House Hotel this year.
Ver Players practising
Can you tell us something about your annual charity fund-raisers?
The annual charity fund-raisers are the high point of our calendar and gives an opportunity for everyone to show of their skills in a concert setting. In recent years we have also brought in professional players on the national or international ukulele circuit. We carefully pick a suitable local charity each year working in a variety of fields from medical: Rennie Grove House, St Francis’ Hospice, Mind in Mid Herts. Herts independent living service (provide a range of services to help older and vulnerable people stay happy, healthy, and independent). Last year’s charity was Earthworks, St Albans (nurturing people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential).
This year we are delighted to support Sustainable St Albans for our charity fund-raiser on 12th October!
We played (a sub-group called Rag House) for the Market Takeover at The Sustainability Festival 2019 in St Albans, and fully support the ethos of reducing the impact of human beings on the natural world. We pride ourselves in contributing to our community’s well-being in our small way and of course the ukulele is a small instrument so people can walk or cycle to our local gatherings.
The fund-raiser is on Sat 12th October: Trinity Church Hall, I Beaconsfield Road, St Albans, AL1 3RD. Doors open 7pm. Tickets £15: at the time of writing – a few tickets left at the door only!
How do you know about the Hot Potato Syncopators who are heading the bill at this year’s Charity fund-raiser?
They went down a storm at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival (the UK’s major uke festival) last year. We saw them there and we’re thrilled to have them here in St Albans in October!
- Annual membership for 2019 is £25 per person. Non-members are very welcome to our monthly sing-a-along at the pub, meet everyone, and then decide if you want to join us, and join the fun!
Full members get additional benefits:
- The music is provided for you to print your own copy – so you can practise beforehand.
- New songs are introduced each month, so you quickly build a up a fine collection of songs, carefully arranged, with professional quality artwork, including chord diagrams to help you master the songs and improve quickly.
- You can come to our regular practise sessions at the Court Yard Café and learn useful playing tips.
- Depending on ability, you can join one of our performing groups.
- If you need an instrument or new strings etc, go to The Music Dept, 67 London Road, St Albans: www.themusicdept.com – Ver Players Membership Card to claim 5% discount.
For more information, please get in touch: