Samantha Muir (2019)
After completing a BA (English Literature) at the University of Sydney, Sam was awarded a scholarship to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance Studies (classical guitar) at the Royal College of Music, London. On graduating from the RCM in 1996 she was awarded the Madeline Walton Guitar Prize. Sam has taught and performed in Australia, Europe and the UK and currently teaches classical guitar and ukulele at Sherborne School in Dorset.
Since 2012 Sam has dedicated herself to extending the classical ukulele repertoire. Her arrangements include works by Carulli, Sor, Carcassi, Giuliani, Tarrega and Bach.
Photo by Josie Elias
In 2015 she was commissioned by Schott to arrange a book/CD of 35 Scottish Tunes for Ukulele. In 2016 she released her first solo ukulele CD, The Beauty of Uke - a compilation of her classical and campanella arrangements.
Samantha has performed and given workshops at leading ukulele festivals and retreats across the UK including GNUF, Uke East, BUG Day, the Highland Ukulele Gathering, the Forest Ukulele Retreat and the Halsway Manor Ukulele and Singing Weekend. She runs the Ukulele Ensemble course at Benslow Music.
Her research interests include ukulele history and she specialises in the forerunners of the ukulele - the machete de braga and the rajão from Madeira. Sam has given lecture recitals at the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey and the European Guitar Teachers Association and is a member of the Cohort for Guitar Research, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She is currently doing a PhD at the University of Surrey entitled New Works for Classical Ukulele. Her arrangements and compositions are published by Les Productions d’Oz at
Paul Jonson (2019)
Paul got his first guitar for his eighth birthday and only played guitars until he was 60 when he was sent a promotional uke from a company asking if he'd be keen to sell them.
Folks describe him as a Blues Ukulele Player Extraordinaire and a blues ukulele legend, and being retired from the corporate world he travels to share ukulele magic at international festivals. He uses unique resonator ukuleles, many of which he has built in his studio where 200+ ukes reside to express the true feeling of the original blues masters, and plans on astounding any audience with the versatility of this humble four string instrument.
Paul features blues, boogie, ragtime and traditional folk songs in a concert and/or workshop format to acquaint the keen ukulele players with finger picking, alternative strumming, chording and tuning techniques that express the feeling of these styles of music. He travels widely to share his particular brand and uke style out of a love for music. He has featured at many ukulele and folk festivals in his native New Zealand, as well as Australian ukulele festivals from Cairns in the north to Melbourne in the south, and recent travels in Europe included ukulele gigs in Italy and Spain. His passion for 4 stringed instruments has led to running an annual NZ Four String Festival in Kawhia with the inaugural guest Canadian Manitoba Hal, whom he toured with in November 2018 as a performer.
Jack n Jel (2019)
Jack n Jel (not their real names) are a dynamic, collaborative, flexible, fun and funny workshop and performance duo from Newcastle, NSW. At home Mark and Jane (their real names) run 11 weekly ukestra/choir sessions, but they also have an international reputation for ukestration workshops, helping community ukulele groups to develop their musicianship and joy beyond hum n strum.
In performance garb, Jack n Jel have been variously described as 'mesmerising', 'funny', and 'a little brave'. They are a rare commodity - performers who can teach, teachers who can perform - using 8ish wee instruments jammed into life's overhead locker. That luggage also contains two books that distil their recipe for a successful business that nurtures one of the world's largest, most vibrant and musically literate ukulele communities in their hometown.
From their daily uke-work at home, their reputation has reached across the Pacific where they have toured annually since 2011. In demand at uke and folk festivals from California to Nova Scotia, Mark and Jane continue to hone their craft, mine the rich cultural and musical seams of that vast continent, and spread their rather uniquely successful take on ukulele tuition and performance.
Ruth Allen completed the 3-year teaching certification with Canadian ukulele supremo James Hill, and has attended workshops with Kimo Hussey, Aldrine Guerrero and a host of other local and international experts. She runs concerts and workshops in the Port Macquarie area and at Australian Ukulele Festivals, as well as playing with and helping to manage The Outlaws Big Ukulele Band. Ruth was a founder of the Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association, runs the Port Macquarie Ukestra and Conservatorium Ukulele Ensemble, plays uke with local Port Macquarie group U4RiA and also co-directs a community choir and a pop-up pub choir, Bar Cappella.
Ruth's mission is to help people become the best uke player they can in the shortest possible time with the least effort and the most fun.
As a performer, Ruth Allen's eclectic set encompasses quirky covers, pointed parodies and originals with musical stories that will delight your ears, warm your heart, tickle your funny bone, and sometimes bring a lump to your throat.
Ruth Allen (2019)
Ian Porter (2019)
Ian Porter studied for his BMus at the conservatorium in the early 1980s, but as a classical trumpet performer, conductor and arranger. After a brief period teaching Ian spent the next 30 years as an executive in commerce and industry. He came back to music in 2010 and choose ukulele as his preferred instrument. He has subsequently completed the James Hill Teaching certification, founded the Outlaws Ukulele Big Band, The North Shore Strummers, The Willoughby Ukestars, and most recently the Willoughby Ukulele Orchestra, with participants from all over the Eastern States.
He is the ukulele teacher in-residence at the Dougherty Centre in Sydney’s Northern suburbs where he provides beginner to advanced classes and often delivers workshops to other ukulele clubs and at festivals. He is a regular solo performer as well. His playing style is a mix of finger-style and Shimabukuro-esque strumming. He is quick to point out that he is not one to play old-time ukulele repertoire though. Ian was one of the founders of the Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association, now in its fourth year.
Ian will lead the Camp Ukulele Orchestra assisted by sectional tutors Ruth Allen, Janine Shearer and Cathy Welsford.
Janine Shearer (2019)
Janine holds a Bachelor of Music (Therapy) from Melbourne/Sydney Conservatoriums and is classically trained on flute and piano. She is fully accredited with the 3 year James Hill Ukulele Teacher Certification Program and has 8 years experience teaching ukulele on the Northern Beaches. She has developed and published Ukulele Workshops and Intensive Courses for hundreds of students at a Beginner and Intermediate Level. She is the musical director of the 50+ strong performance ensemble, The Lightly Strung Orchestra for Intermediate/Advanced players. She regularly performs with the LSO and The Outlaws Big Ukulele Band at Australian Ukulele Festivals. Janine is a tutor at the Sydney Ukulele Orchestration Workshops developed by Ian Porter. She is currently a committee member of the Australian Ukulele Teachers & Leaders Association (AUTLA).
Janine's website: www.makingmusic4life.com
Steph Payne (2019)
Steph Payne's career in music began as a singer with jazz and classical training. She directed choirs for over twenty years and then with some dedicated James Hill study, expanded her teaching to include ukulele ensembles. The vocal arranging skills came in very handy! From Melbourne, Steph is one third of Paisley & Plaid - folk trio, directs Willin Wimmin choir and several ukulele ensembles including The Daisy Chains, Wyndham Classical Ukulele Ensemble and Wyndukes Ukestra.
More information: www.unstrungmusic.com.au
Cathy Welsford & Angie Smith (Every year!)
The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach
Your Ukulele Camp hosts, Cathy (Fast Fingers) Welsford and Angie (Random Chords) Smith have been performing, writing songs and organising community events together for thirty years, singing their way through numerous political upheavals, cultural revolutions and just plain standing up against injustice. They provide high quality ukulele workshops at clubs and festivals up and down the east coast of Australia from Cairns to Tasmania, and are also tutors at Bellingen’s Camp Creative. They perform as The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach, interspersing beautifully harmonised original songs with evocative instrumental pieces, outrageous rock and sassy covers. A fearless song-writing duo, they compose contemporary folk ditties documenting the events, issues and celebrations of the times and of their outrageous life experiences. Their long awaited CD, Keep Laughing, Seriously is finally out, now available at festivals and through their website at www.thewildwomenofanywherebeach.net.
Cathy plays all sizes of ukulele, harp ukulele and banjo uke, as well as stick dulcimer, 5 string banjo, guitar, percussion, piano and keyboard. She was a founding member of the Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association (AUTLA) and its inaugural president. She holds a Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Teacher's accreditation, a Mistress of Education degree, is a Project Officer for the New England Conservatorium of Music and in 2005 was awarded Citizen of the Year. She has recently developed two ukulele-based education programs which she is currently presenting to schools and pre-schools across New South Wales. Cathy also performs with the Outlaws Big Ukulele Band and teaches ukulele group classes in the Valla Beach and Nambucca area.
Angie is a music historian with a Mistress of Education (Hons) and PhD (Education). She specialises in working with ukulele Beginners and Seniors, as well as in repertoire development, workshop exercises, songwriting and strum techniques. An experienced teacher, she brings to her workshops a unique understanding of the learning process together with ample patience and a firm belief in the ability of humans to learn. Her broad musical knowledge and ongoing research enable her to offer a wide range of workshops including beginners, strum techniques, rhythmic picking, twelve bar blues, Latin rhythms, Songs of the 20s, 30s and 40s, Hollywood Hawaiian, Great Movie Songs, and Australian, Gypsy, Scottish and Irish folk songs. Her Senior Armidale Ukulele group has now grown wings and meeting regularly to jam, rehearse and perform independently in the NSW Northern Tablelands.