The 2024 VA Ukapalooza ukulele festival is full of activities for all players!

2024 Ticket :

Tickets available on Eventbrite

$95 – early bird (will go on sale 6/17/24!)

$125 – regular price (when early bird tickets sell out)

What is “Virginia Ukapalooza 2024”?

VA Ukapalooza 2024 is an action packed, two day event of ukulele related learning, playing, and socializing – conducted by the VA ukulele community, for the VA ukulele community. Playing opportunities will be provided for all registered ukulele groups and all attendees (in a ukulele group or not). Numerous workshops will be offered for all abilities.  Nationally known and regional ukulele talent will perform and teach. The ticket price includes access to all festival events on both 11/1/2024 and 11/2/2024.  Individual day tickets are not available – attend as much of the festival as you’d like to!

Date and Location:

Friday November 1, 2024 and Saturday November 2, 2024

Shady Grove United Methodist Church, Mechanicsville

8209 Shady Grove Rd, Mechanicsville, VA 23111

  • Friday (evening) will be our "kickoff party" with an open mic, group jam, and concerts.

  • Saturday (all day) will be the "main day" with workshops, community uke group performances, and more concerts. 

What makes “Virginia Ukapalooza 2024” unique?

  • Extensive playing opportunities for all registered ukulele groups and all attendees

  • Performances by 7 uke groups from all around VA

  • Multitrack audio and multi camera video recording of performances; each registered uke group will be provided with a professional multitrack audio recorded video posted to YouTube of one of their songs (additional songs may be purchased)

  • 10 workshops taught by expert musicians in the ukulele community, for ukulele players specifically geared for beginner, intermediate, and advanced abilities.

  • “Jam Party'' for all attendees to play in a giant ukulele group with everyone (we will provide song charts!), which will be filmed and posted to YouTube. Therefore, everyone that attends Ukapalooza and participates will be included in at least one video that is posted to YouTube!

  • Multiple opportunities for open informal jams with other attendees

  • Open mic for solo and duo performers

  • Concerts by nationally known and regional uke performers

Agenda (Subject to small changes)

Friday, November 1

5:30 pm – Registration Open

6:00 - 7:00 pm – Open Mic (dinner running concurrently)

7:15 - 8:00 pm – Jam Party (open uke jam) hosted by The Midnight Ukulele Society

8:15 - 9:00 pm – Concert by The Barn Owls 

9:15 - 10:00 pm – Concert by Au Fromage

Saturday, November 2

8:00 am – Registration Open

8:45 - 9:00 am – Introductions and Welcome

9:00 - 10:00 am – Performances by 2x VA ukulele groups*, Workshop 1 ## 

10:00 - 10:45 am – Workshop Block #2 (workshops 2A, 2B, and 2C)

11:15 - 12:00 pm – Concert by Truetone Honeys

12:00 - 12:45 pm – Performance by another VA uke group* (lunch running concurrently)

1:00 - 1:45 pm – Workshop Block #3 (workshops 3A, 3B, and 3C)

2:00 - 3:00 pm – Performances by 2x more VA uke groups*

3:00 - 3:45 pm – Workshop Block #4 (workshops 4A, 4B, and 4C)

4:00 - 5:00 pm – Performances by 2x more VA uke groups*

5:00 - 5:45 pm – Concert by Ray Cygrymus (Surfnrz)

5:45 - 6:00 pm – Raffle drawing, closing remarks

6:00 - 6:45 pm – Concert by Danielle Anderson (Danielle Ate the Sandwich)

* An open jam will run concurrently with each of the uke group performances to provide attendees an alternate option

## A beginner workshop will also run concurrently with the first block of uke group performances to provide attendees an alternate option

Workshops (Saturday)

A total of 10 workshops will be offered. Each workshop is 45 minutes in length.  The Fundamentals Workshop (Workshop #1) will be offered for any players that are just starting to learn ukulele through a beginner level.

For the other 9 workshops (covering beginner, intermediate, and advanced players), attendees will be able to attend up to 3 of them – one in each block.  Workshop attendance must be preselected, and based on limited seating, some workshops will be on a first come, first serve basis. A workshop registration link will be automatically emailed to each attendee after purchasing a ticket.

Buy your ticket early so you can reserve the workshops you want to attend!

Workshop #1 – Fundamentals Workshop by Paul Bakeman (Beginner)

Learn fundamental strum, chords, and ukulele techniques to be able to play ukulele by yourself, and with others.  No experience necessary, yet Paul will gear the workshop to the experience of the attendees, and questions asked. 

Workshop #2A –  Easy Two-Finger Picking Pattern by Danielle Anderson (Beginner/Intermediate)

Learn an introductory picking pattern to improve your right hand technique. We'll learn how to apply the technique to popular songs, and give you ideas to spice up the songs you already know how to play in your jam circles and performance songs. This class is great for advanced beginners or intermediate players who know their chords, but want to learn a new right hand technique.

Danielle Ate the Sandwich (Danielle Anderson) – a songwriter, ukulele and guitar player, and performer – first found her place at open mic nights and coffee shops in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is now based in Kansas City, MO. She has released 7 albums of original music and over 200 YouTube videos. As a teacher, Danielle Ate the Sandwich has been able to share her creative and collaborative teaching style. Incorporating the same performance chops she uses to interact and engage with her audiences during shows, Danielle leads with humor and honesty to help students feel at ease, and leave with a fresh take on a new skill.

Workshop #2B –  You Can Solo, Too! by Ray Cygrymus (Advanced)

In this workshop,  we will break down some of the fears with improvisation by learning some simple solo patterns and riffs. We will put together what we’ve learned at the end of class to have a super fun jam session. Ray has taught elementary school music for over thirty years, most recently specializing in ukulele instruction in the classroom. He has lived in the Pittsburgh area his entire life, and attended Duquesne University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, with an emphasis on voice.  Ray has performed in many musicals and plays with theaters throughout the Pittsburgh area and has fronted many rock bands where he was the lead singer and played various instruments. 

Workshop #2C – Everything Old is New Again – Song Mashup and Arranging by Alden and Ryan Blevins (Beginner/Intermediate)

One challenge of repertoire selection for any community music-making ensembles, including uke groups, is finding songs that will have appeal for a diverse group of participants. One way to do that is to include music from a wide variety of time-periods and genres. Mash-Ups provide a way to combine musical interests across generations!

Alden and Ryan Blevins will teach a repertoire-building session full of multi-generational mashups – of timeless classics and songs of today.  This workshop will focus on song selection and arranging. It will give both solo performers and ukulele groups examples of repertoire to use and a framework for selecting tunes that may work well together. 

Alden and Ryan Blevins met long ago in the chorus room of Hickory High School, where their love of singing brought them together! Music has continued to unite them throughout the years. They both hold Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education From Virginia Commonwealth University, where their primary instruments were both voice, respectively. Alden has also earned her Master’s in Music Education from New York University. 

Alden and Ryan both have training in Kodaly and Orff methodologies of teaching music. Alden taught PK-5th Grade general music in a public school setting for seven years. Ryan has taught in a variety of choral and general music settings, with ages ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade! Ryan currently teaches chorus and general music to 5th-12th graders at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. Alden is also a proud member of the Midnight Ukulele Society. Lovers of all music, old and new, Alden & Ryan strive to both honor students’ musical preferences by choosing current songs they enjoy and exposing them to other styles of music that may be outside of their comfort zones.

Workshop #3A –  Uke Camp Songwriting by Caroline Scruggs (Beginner/Intermediate)

Rekindle your creativity, find your voice, and write an original song with Caroline Scruggs' guided method. Great for all experience levels!

Caroline Scruggs is a world traveling songbird, multi-instrumentalist and creative educator from Hampton Roads, Virginia. A lifelong musician, she began playing the violin at age 5, pursued a degree in classical Vocal Performance, and has been breaking all the rules of traditional music & pushing her creative boundaries ever since. 

Passionate about using music as a bridge to connect ideas, concepts & people that may not connect otherwise, Caroline’s musical work has included teaching hundreds of humans around the world how to write original songs on the ukulele in her virtual songwriting course Uke Camp, co-leading groups to write albums while riding Amtrak trains across the USA (American Train Collective), and creating a mystical world of soundscape & sensory shimmers with her debut album, Space, releasing in 2024. 

She is also 1/3 of the Truetone Honeys, playing a Gold Tone banjolele to capture the early jazz tones of vocal trio groups like the Boswell Sisters of New Orleans. 

Caroline has been featured playing theremin in a TikTok commercial with LL Cool J, is a sponsored artist of Sweetwater Sound, & has collaborated with Moog Music inc. with her original song Altitude Sickness. Her musical videos have been viewed over 10 million times across platforms.

Follow Caroline on TiKTok, and her Instagram handle is @caroline_scruggs_

Workshop #3B – Advanced Chord Melodies by Stu Kindle (Advanced) 

In this mind flexing course, Stu Kindle will show you his systematic approach to crafting your own chord melodies. Upon completion of this course, you will be empowered with all the tools to play chord inversions up the neck and grab melodies out of those chord shapes! This clinic is geared towards advanced players but all skill levels are welcome. 

Stu Kindle is a local Richmond musician and owner at Fan Guitar and Ukulele. His unique and intricate take on the ukulele is shocking and potentially offensive to some, and he's sure to blow your socks off should you get the chance to see him perform or better yet attend one of his mind flexing clinics.

Workshop #3C –  Psychedelic Rock: 1969 by Sue Agee (Beginner/Intermediate) 

A far out year in music that brought the world classics from artists like Hendrix & Bowie. Highlighting some hits from the Woodstock era, we will go deep into some new outta sight chords while getting high on our fretboard. Have a groovy experience and blow your mind with tips and tricks to elevate your playing to the stars. You dig?

Sue Agee is passionate about helping others have breakthroughs in their playing and in their lives. The healing quality of music is infused into her online ukulele classes and also in her yoga and meditation workshops. In addition to the beloved uke, you can find her playing harmonium, keyboards, Tibetan singing bowls and Native American flute. She enjoys participating in the ukulele performance groups “The Midnight Ukulele Society” and “RVAloha.”  Recently, she contributed ukulele and background vocals on James Hill’s album, UkeHeads, a collaborative worldwide project. As Founder and Musical Director of The Barn Owls, a multi-instrument band, she illustrates how ukulele can effortlessly be joined with other more traditional band sounds. Find and follow on Facebook or Instagram @barn_owls_va

Workshop #4A – Ditch the Nerves and Get on Stage – Performance Skills Workshop by Danielle Anderson (Beginner/Intermediate)

Learn techniques to help improve your performance, whether practicing at home, in front of your ukulele group or at a sold out show at Madison Square Garden. Danielle will teach ways to perform thoughtfully, develop a stage persona, and practice stepping in front of an audience during a mini open mic. This is a great chance for shy players to gain some experience in a fun and friendly environment. (You will not be forced to perform, but will be given an opportunity to try.)

Workshop #4B –  Getting Spicy with Embellishments by Ray Cygrymus (Advanced)

In this workshop, we will explore some great techniques to make our playing more dynamic – chord suspensions, double stops, palm muting, and some different strum patterns.

Workshop #4C –  Bass in a Uke Group by Ron Knobler (Intermediate)

This workshop is all about that bass, no treble!  It will start with a quick tutorial on both right and left hand playing techniques for a bass uke.  The bulk of the class will focus on the mindset of the bass player, must know music theory knowledge, improvisation ideas, and repertoire of how to construct bass lines to play bass parts along with a uke group.  This class isn’t just for bass players – all attendees are sure to learn about the role of the bass in a group situation, music theory, and improvisation ideas – that can be applied to other instruments too.

Ron has been an avid bass player and enthusiast for over 30 years. He was both classically trained on upright bass, and learned by ear playing electric bass in dozens of bands in all musical styles in Northern Virginia and Richmond. Ron is the uke bass player in The Midnight Ukulele Society.  In addition to also playing electric bass in various Richmond area bands, he arranges and records solo bass compositions (@RonKnoblerMusic on Facebook and Youtube), and teaches bass lessons (@RVASoundDoctor on Facebook and Instagram).

Open Mic (Friday)

  • A total of 8 open mic slots will be made available the day of Ukapalooza (Friday 11/1) via a sign in white board, on a first come first serve basis starting at registration

  • The open mic slots are intended for a solo artist or duo only.  No larger sized groups, please.

  • Each performer will be given a 4 minute performance time (which includes any talking/intro of the song, plus performance of the song)

  • Microphones, mic stands, DI’s, a few guitar amps, bass amp, condenser mics, and a full PA will be provided

VA Ukulele Group Performances (Saturday)

  • A total of 7 uke groups (from all over VA!) will each perform a set.  

  • Each uke group will perform for 20 minutes (the time includes introducing their group, playing as many songs as they’d like to, and talking between songs).

  • Each uke group will have a play along song which will allow the audience to play along with each of the uke groups

  • Microphones, mic stands, DI’s, a few guitar amps (for any “lead uke players”), bass amp, condenser mics, and a full PA will be provided

  • Uke groups featured:

The Midnight Ukulele Society (Richmond, VA)

Sonic Ukes (Eastern Shore, VA)

Shenandoah Valley Ukulele Players (Harrisonburg, VA)

Ukesters (Richmond, VA)

Tracksuit Cowboys (Chesterfield, VA)

RVAloha (Richmond, VA)

FUN (Fredericksburg, VA)

The Midnight Ukulele Society

  1. Region/location uke group is based: Richmond, VA

  2. Year uke group was founded: 2015 

  3. How many active members (rough number): 40

  4. How often practice/jam: Monthly (2nd Wednesday)

  5. Website:

  6. Youtube page:

  7. Social media page(s)

  8. Funny facts about the group: We really like squirrels!  We have never practiced or performed at midnight. One of our members insists on multiple wardrobe changes during every gig.  

  9. Other Info: We perform a variety of gigs around the Richmond area (Gig calendar for upcoming gigs  – various farmer’s markets, festivals, breweries, fundraiser events, block parties, porch concerts, and nursing homes.  Some notable gigs in 2024 were our monthly gig at RVA Big Market Farmer’s Market, the ceremony and reception at a wedding, and a fundraiser for clean drinking water and sanitation for island nations in the South Pacific.

The Sonic Ukes

  1. Region/location uke group is based: Eastern Shore, VA

  2. Year uke group was founded: 2017 

  3. How many active members: 5

  4. Group bio: "The Sonic Ukes" are a vibrant and harmonious ukulele group based on the enchanting Eastern Shore of Virginia. Founded in 2017, our group consists of five passionate players who share an unwavering love for the ukulele and a common desire to spread the joy of music to all corners of our community. We strive to challenge ourselves to push the boundaries of traditional ukulele music and experiment with different genres, infusing our repertoire with fresh arrangements, riffs and vocal harmonies. Virginia Ukapalooza offers an ideal platform for us to grow as musicians, expand our musical horizons, and make meaningful connections within the ukulele community...we look forward to seeing you!

Shenandoah Valley Ukulele Players

  1. Region/location uke group is based: Harrisonburg, VA

  2. Year uke group was founded: 2014 

  3. How many active members (rough number): 45

  4. How often practice/jam: Weekly (Wednesday mornings 10:00AM-11:30PM. The uke group leader teaches a class for beginners the first and third Wednesday of the month, from 9:00-10:00AM. Students join the 10:00AM rehearsal after class.)

  5. Youtube page:

  6. Social media page(s)

  7. Funny facts about the group: Our group is made up of mostly retired people, since we rehearse during the morning hours. Our youngest is in his 50s and our oldest player is 86 years young!

  8. Other Info: They meet at Brix and Columns Vineyards in McGaheysville the last Wednesday of the month and host a JAM from 11:00AM-12:30PM. They will be hosting monthly community JAMS at the Massanutten Regional Library starting Monday, September 25, from 6:30-8:00PM. They have performed at UkeFest Virginia in Richmond and most recently at the Blue Ridge Ukulele Festival in Morganton, NC. They perform at least twice a month at area retirement centers, the Harrisonburg Farmer's Market and at First Fridays in Harrisonburg at the Oasis Art Gallery, among others. 


  1. Region/location uke group is based: Richmond, VA

  2. Year uke group was founded: 2013

  3. How many active members (rough number): 30

  4. How often practice/jam: Weekly

  5. Bio: Over a decade ago experts told us what we all knew –music is good for us and singing is fun. Overnight the ukulele became cool, and word spread that the uke was fun and easy to play. Thus began The Ukesters with a few folks humming and strumming. Mostly senior citizens with bold baritones, lovely choral voices, and a few warbling women complete the sound of the Old Standards, Country, Gospel, Doo Wop, and Rock & Roll. To amplify the three chord strummers are a few very accomplished musicians playing banjo, guitar, bass, Autoharp, harmonica accordion and kazoo. When The Ukesters perform they are hoping for an enthusiastic audience who also know - music is good for us and singing is fun.

Tracksuit Cowboys 

  1. Region/location uke group is based: Chesterfield County, VA

  2. Year uke group was founded: 2023

  3. How many active members (rough number): 10

  4. How often practice/jam: Weekly

  5. Uke Group website:

  6. Bio:Get ready for Tracksuit Cowboys! This group, born from Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation community classes, is pumped to be part of the Ukapalooza event for the second year running. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned ukulele enthusiast, Tracksuit Cowboys is a performance powerhouse, ready to blow you away with a diverse range of hits that you'll definitely know.


  1. Region/location uke group is based: Richmond, VA

  2. Year uke group was founded: 2021

  3. How many active members (rough number): 10

  4. How often practice/jam: Twice a month

  5. Facebook page: 

  1. Other info: The group (hui) is a Hawaii-focused ukulele and hula club, seeking to explore and celebrate the culture of the islands.

Fredericksburg Ukulele eNsemble~aka~F.U.N.

  1. Region where group is based: Fredericksburg, VA

  2. Year group was founded: 2013

  3. How many active members (rough number): 15

  4. How often practice/jam: Twice a month, 2nd and 4th Wednesday

  5. Facebook Page:

  6. About our group: We’ve played at a variety of venues in the Fredericksburg area and we meet at the Fredericksburg Food Co-op.  We welcome players at all skill levels. Various types of instruments: ukuleles, banjoleles, harmonicas,etc. The only requirement is to enjoy the music and have fun.

Jam Party (Friday)

  • The “Jam Party” is a group jam intended for all participants, which will include playing through a variety of songs

  • At least one song will be posted on Youtube, so everyone that participates will have the opportunity to be on Youtube

  • Hosted by Paul Bakeman and The Midnight Ukulele Society

  • The songbook will be sent out electronically to all attendees prior to the Ukapalooza event

The Barn Owls Concert (Friday)

The Barn Owls – An Unexpected Mix of Americana

Expect the Unexpected with The Barn Owls! Ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, bass, cajón and guitars shine as they blend a unique mix of Americana: Country, Bluegrass, & Classic Rock. Based in Central Virginia, The Barn Owls highlight how well the ukulele can fit in with more “traditional” band instruments. The Friday night concert will have sheet music provided for several songs to encourage the crowd to play along with the band. 

Social media links:


And Facebook: The Barn Owls

Au Fromage Concert (Friday)

Au Fromage, the Richmond based acoustic swing powerhouse duo of Stu Kindle (ukulele) and Valentin Prince (guitar), will make their triumphant return to Virginia Ukapalooza!  They play uptempo gypsy jazz tunes, standards, and other highly danceable old-timey music.  Their concert will definitely be memorable!  Check them out on Instagram @au_fromage_music and Bandcamp

Trutone Honeys Concert (Saturday)

The Truetone Honeys, singers Anna Perkins, Caroline Scruggs, and Jeanette Corey, are a female vocal trio based in the Tidewater region of Virginia. While they sing across genres and decades, they specialize in the early swing stylings of the 1920s and 30s, and are especially inspired by the legacies of groups like the Boswell Sisters of New Orleans. They love the way the musically complex vocal arranging plays with such fun and lighthearted songs! Whether performing with orchestras, bands, or accompanying themselves, they sing to bring the happiness they experience through this music to others, knowing that the music speaks for itself in any time or place.

The Honeys are excited to play an entire set at Virginia Ukapalooza accompanied by the banjolele, the resonant cousin of the ukulele that provides the perfect traditional jazz tone.

Follow the Trutone Honeys on Facebook and Instagram.

Ray Cygrymus (Surfnrz) Concert (Saturday)

Ray (based in Pittsburgh, PA) has taught and performed at various ukulele festivals throughout the US. His goal is to share his knowledge and experience to influence other ukulele players to look at their instrument in a different way by gaining knowledge of different techniques, expanding new skill sets, and effectively using sound effects. Ray hopes to continue to grow, entertain, inspire, and educate the world on the beauty and diversity of this spectacular little instrument that brings people together in such a big way!


Facebook: Surfnrz 

Instagram: ray_cygrymus_surfnrz

TikTok: Surfnrz 

Danielle Anderson (Danielle Ate the Sandwich) Concert (Saturday)

Combining soft, lilting vocals with poignant honesty and wit, Danielle Ate the Sandwich (Danielle Anderson), writes songs for the biggest and smallest moments of life. A songwriter, ukulele and guitar player, and performer, Danielle first found her place at open mic nights and coffee shops in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is now based in Kansas City, MO. Growing a fan base through her homemade videos on YouTube, Danielle performed and toured extensively from 2009-2018, leaving an impression on audiences across the country, and fans around the world.

Danielle has released 7 albums of original music, over 200 YouTube videos, and conducts an annual 24 Hour Album project, writing and producing new songs with the help of her patrons in only twenty four hours.

She has opened for Mumford and Sons, Jake Shimabukuro, and had the opportunity to write the soundtrack to the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson.” In 2023, Danielle was awarded a 2-year studio residency at the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO, and is currently in the studio working on her 8th full length release of original folk songs.

Video Links:

Terrible Dinner Guest (produced video and song)

It's Not Jupiter (solo ukulele)

Raffle Drawing (Saturday)

  • Raffle prizes will be announced soon! Tickets will be available the day of the event (payment accepted via: cash, credit card, Venmo)


  • The tentative plan is that there will be multiple food trucks parked at the venue for dinner on Friday 11/1 and for lunch on Saturday 11/2

  • Specific food trucks details are TBD

  • Attendees may purchase at the food truck(s) of their choice or alternatively bring outside food/drink

  • We are excited to offer coffee provided by Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Co (locally roasted in Eastville, VA) which will be provided (include in ticket price) 

  • Tea, bottled water, and soft drinks will be provided (include in ticket price) 


  • A courtesy rate agreement has been set up with the Virginia Crossings Hotel (Hilton property) located 4 miles (approximately a 9 minute drive) from the Ukapalooza event location.

  • A rate of $132/night (single, double queen or king bed) the nights of 11/1/2024 and/or 11/2/2024 have been quoted

  • These are courtesy rates and subject to change based on availability as the event date approaches, so it is recommended that if attendees are interested, they book a room at this hotel as soon as possible

  • Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

1000 Virginia Center Parkway

Glen Allen, VA 23059-4571

804 727 1400 tel

(804) 727-1400 extension 0 and mention group code 90G 

48 hour cancellation policy prior to arrival

Registration link:


  • T-shirts  (unisex crewneck or ladies v-neck) will be available as add on via Eventbrite, must be purchased prior to the event

Further Details

  • The ticket price includes access to all festival events on both 11/1/2024 and 11/2/2024.  Individual day tickets are not available.

  • Event is run by Virginia Ukapalooza, a 501(c)(3) non profit, and through volunteers provided by The Midnight Ukulele Society (Richmond, VA) 

  • Virginia Ukapalooza is geared for the VA ukulele community but is open to ukulele players and enthusiasts from everywhere! All are welcome!

  • Additional sponsors and vendors are welcome! Please inquire for further details.

  • Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram

  • Feel free to email us:

Get Your Tickets Here:


Each general admission ticket entitles one person full access to both days (11/1/2024 and 11/2/2024) of Virginia Ukapalooza 2024, and free access to beverages: coffee (roasted by Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Company!) and tea on Saturday - water and soft drinks on both days. A pdf jam packet will be emailed to each attendee prior to the festival to load on their electronic device or to print at home.  Optionally, as an add-on, we can print your packet for pickup at the event.

T-shirts may be purchased separately (as an add on, NOT included in ticket price)

Sponsors/Vendors so far...more to come!