The 2023 Va Ukapalooza was a rousing success! This page will remain here so folks can see what we had on offer in 2023. We look forward to the 2024 Ukapalooza! Stay tuned on the main Ukapalooza page for details!

What is “Virginia Ukapalooza 2023”?

VA Ukapalooza 2023 is an action packed, full day 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). Workshops will be geared for all abilities.

Date and Location:

Saturday, November 4, 2023 at the Cultural Arts Center At Glen Allen, Glen Allen VA (Cardinal Ballroom)

What makes “Virginia Ukapalooza 2023” unique compared with other ukulele festivals?

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

  • Performances by ukulele groups from all around VA

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

  • Workshops taught by expert musicians in the Virginia ukulele community, for ukulele players of all levels and 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!

  • Open mic for solo and group performers

  • Concerts by VA ukulele performers

Schedule (Subject to small changes)

8:30 - 9:00 am – Registration 

9:00 - 9:10 am – Introductions and Welcome

9:10 - 12:00 pm – Workshops (4 workshops total)

12:00 - 12:45 pm – Open mic (lunch running concurrently)

12:45 - 3:20 pm – VA Uke group performances (7 groups)

3:20 - 4:10 pm – Jam Party!

4:10 - 4:20 pm – Networking break

4:20 - 4:45 pm – Concert and Play Along by The Barn Owls 

4:45 - 5:00 pm – Raffle drawing, closing remarks

5:00 - 5:30 pm – Closing Concert by Au Fromage (Stu Kindle and Valentin Prince play Gypsy Jazz Uke)


Workshop #1 –  "Hawaiian Reggae" by Sue Agee (50 mins.)

Keep those warm weather vibes and ocean breezes going all year round! Feel the pulse of reggae beats as Sue guides you through different strum patterns and rhythmic textures. Infuse compassion in your practice as you conquer barre chords. Share the kindness and harmony of Aloha as we put it all together with a group jam of several island songs.

Sue Agee is passionate about helping others have breakthroughs in their playing. For the past several years she has been hosting online ukulele classes, sharing the healing qualities of music. As a mostly self-taught musician (ukulele, harmonium, Native American flute, piano) she enjoys the present moment focus that music can provide and tries to improve a little everyday. Formerly a NICU nurse, she now teaches yoga/meditation classes and wellness workshops. She played ukulele on James Hill’s UkeHeads album, a collaborative worldwide project which will be released soon. Founder of The Barn Owls, a multi-instrument acoustic band, you can find her on Insta @barn_owls_va or @sueagee.  Sue is also a member of The Midnight Ukulele Society.

Workshop #2 –  "Be Like Jake - Building a Ukulele-Focused Pedal Board" by Jeff Patelski (20 mins.)

Jeff will discuss his customized pedal board for ukulele lead playing, describe what each pedal does, and demonstrate the sound of each pedal. He will give some advice: about what to look for when purchasing pedals and how to use pedals cordially when in a ukulele group.

Jeff has been playing ukulele for nearly 10 years and also plays guitar and bass. He’s been in rock bands which performed everywhere from the National Mall on the 4th of July to the Daytona Beach Bandshell (and numerous less savory establishments). He currently plays in several formal and informal groups including The Barn Owls (bass) and The Midnight Ukulele Society (lead uke). When not managing freight cars at work, he messes around with model trains...that is, when he finds time to put down one of his instruments! 

Workshop #3 –  "Singing in a Uke Group? Uke CAN do it!" by Alden and Ryan Blevins (50 mins.)

Alden and Ryan, two lifelong singers and lovers of the ukulele, will use their specialized vocal training to teach you how to be more successful and build your confidence when singing with your ukulele ensemble. Singing is a LEARNED behavior that we can all improve upon. This workshop is interactive; participants will sing and play in a group throughout the experience in order to see how strategies work in real time. This workshop will include:

  • Demonstrated practical strategies for vocal warm-ups

  • Tips for vocal health and improving the tone or color of your voice

  • Strategies for singing in a group setting

  • Ideas for developing basic harmony or part-singing skills to enhance your ensemble’s arrangements

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, where her robust choral program for 4th and 5th grade students tripled in size over her tenure. 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. Alden and Ryan both believe in encouraging every human to sing joyfully and find their voice.

Workshop #4 – "Digitizing Your Songbook" by Brian Noble-Marx (15 mins.)

This workshop will focus on the ukulele player in the digital age by eliminating the need for paper songbooks. Brian will summarize a few of the different apps to manage PDF’s (lead sheets), editing and note taking on those digital pages, and turning pages while playing on both iOS and Android devices.

Brian Noble-Marx jumped into the RVA ukulele scene in 2016 after 3-D printing a ukulele at a local library. He’s taken numerous classes from local instructors.  By 2018 he was jamming regularly with the Midnight Ukulele Society and in the Fall of 2021, he started leading a weekly jam session through Chesterfield County Parks and Rec. which is currently ongoing. Brian also does commissioned bespoke woodworking projects and teaches classes in fine woodworking.

Open Mic

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

  • The open mic slots are intended for all performers – a solo artist, or group of any size

  • 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

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

  • Each 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).

  • 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

  • Groups featured:

RVAloha (Richmond, VA)

Ukesters (Richmond, VA)

Tracksuit Cowboys (Chesterfield, VA)

Charlottesville UVA Ukulele Lodge (CUUL, Charlottesville, VA)

Shenandoah Valley Ukulele Players (Harrisonburg, VA)

Sonic Ukes (Eastern Shore, VA)

The Midnight Ukulele Society (Richmond, VA)

The Midnight Ukulele Society

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

  2. Year 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

  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, block parties, porch concerts, and Cultural Arts Center events.  Some notable gigs in 2023 were our monthly gig at RVA Big Market Farmer’s Market and a gig at the Richmond VegFest.

Shenandoah Valley Ukulele Players

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

  2. Year 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

  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 group is based: Richmond, VA

  2. Year 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 (Sick Jams From Someone's College Years) 

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

  2. Year group was founded: 2021

  3. How many active members (rough number): 20 

  4. How often practice/jam: Weekly

  5. Group website

Charlottesville UVA Ukulele Lodge (CUUL) 

Charlottesville UVA Ukulele Lodge (CUUL) 

  1. Region/location group is based: Charlottesville, VA

  2. Year group was founded: 2013

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

  4. How often practice/jam: Monthly

  5. Group website

  6. Facebook link 

  7. Other info: A quote at a recent meeting re: song choices … “You may know stuff you don’t even know”

The Sonic Ukes

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

  2. Year group was founded: 2017 

  3. How many active members: 5

  4. Group bio: "The Sonic Ukes" is 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!


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

  2. Year group was founded: 2021

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

  4. How often practice/jam: Twice a month

  5. Youtube page: coming soon

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

Jam Party

  • 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 of The Midnight Ukulele Society

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

Concert and Play-Along

  • The Barn Owls will perform!

  • The play-along song chart will be sent out electronically to all attendees prior to the Ukapalooza event

Expect the unexpected with The Barn Owls, an acoustic band featuring ukulele, mandolin, bass, guitar, and cajón. Based in Central VA, they blend a unique mix of Americana, Country, Classic Rock and Island Reggae. The Barn Owl’s song arrangements highlight how the ukulele fits in with other more “traditional” band instruments. Follow us on Insta @barn_owls_va.

Raffle Drawing

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

Closing Concert

Au Fromage is an acoustic swing powerhouse duo of Stu Kindle (ukulele) and Valentin Prince (guitar).  They play up-tempo gypsy jazz tunes, standards, and other highly danceable old-timey music.  Their concert will definitely be memorable and a great way to conclude Ukapalooza.  Check them out on Instagram @au_fromage_music.


  • Boxed lunches will be available to purchase from DeFazio’s Catering for $17/each.  An order for lunch must be placed ahead of time online (see Eventbrite add on option for lunch).  Lunches will be delivered (included in price) and made available by noon. All boxed lunches come with sandwich, pasta salad, cookie, chips and mint.

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

  • Tea, bottled water, and soft drinks will be available for free

  • Alternatively, attendees may bring outside food/drink 


  • 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 Ukapoalloza event location.

  • A rate of $125/night (king bed) or $135/night (queen beds) for the nights of 11/3/2023 and/or 11/4/2023 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


T-shirt, $22-$26, available as add on via Eventbrite, must be purchased as an add-on with your ticket prior to event day. 

The T-shirt is a Gildan 6400 in mens/women's styles.

Color:  Sport Gray
Men's sizes: XS - XL (2XL = $2 up-charge: 3XL = $3 up-charge; 4XL = $4 up-charge)

Women's sizes: S - XL (2XL = $2 up-charge: 3XL = $3 up-charge; no 4XL

Tees are 90/10 cotton polyester, Modern Classic fit (men's) / Semi-fitted (women's)   
Price is the same for men's and women's  shirts.

All T-Shirt orders will be available for pick-up at the Ukapalooza on Nov. 4th! They will not be shipped to you!

More Details

  • Event will be run by members of The Midnight Ukulele Society (Richmond, VA) operating under their 501(c)(3) non profit.

  • 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/Instagram: @VirginiaUkapalooza

  • Feel free to email us:

Tickets Available at:

Each general admission ticket entitles one person full access to all of Ukapalooza for 2023, and free access to beverages throughout the day -- coffee (roasted by Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Company!), tea, water, and soft drinks.

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

Box lunch may be purchased separately (as an add on, NOT included in ticket price)

VA Ukapalooza Vendors/Sponsors

**Our vendor roster is full for the 2023 Ukapalooza. Please check back in 2024 in your are interested in next year's event!

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