Nothing else can quite get you in the Christmas spirit like the Colliers Wood yule-kele orchestra.
The Colliers Wood International Ukulele Orchestra will showcase their fun and festive repertoire at Christ Church Winter Festival of Music and Beer in Colliers Wood tomorrow.
The band consisting of 12 players and their ukuleles get their international moniker from their South African and former American members.
“It all started when a guy called Keith Spears thought up a project in Colliers Wood, I think it was six or seven years ago,” said founding member Derek Lomas.
“It was called ‘Making Colliers Wood Happy’ – he wanted to get people together.
“That’s how the ukulele group came about and how it all started seven years ago.”
The orchestra play at a variety of different events, with their next being tomorrow’s fundraiser at Christchurch Colliers Wood.
The event promises to be an evening of merriment, music, and a warm-up to Advent.
“The band also plays at Soho Summer Festival yearly,” said Mr Lomas.
“And we perform at the Abundance Fair which is a project in Wimbledon, which uses up old fruit in the autumn.”
The Abundance Fair helps people access surplus fruit by picking it, which would otherwise be wasted after falling off fruit trees.
“Next week we are also playing at the South West International Film Festival (SWIFF) in the Sultan pub in Wimbledon,” Mr Lomas added.
SWIFF is an event for film makers to have their work screened, and is available for a large audience to come and watch films from all over the world.
Mr Lomas said: “There are 12 of us in the band, all from ages 20-60.
“The band is solely ukuleles but we now have an electric bass ukulele and a cajhon, a drum/box you can sit on.”
The orchestra take time out of their busy working days to practise every week in the community centre in Colliers Wood.
“We do have a core set of things,” Mr Lomas explained.
“But tomorrow we are performing at church, so we are doing a couple of spiritual songs.
“But we also do dancey songs, Latin American, Italian, we do a whole cross section of things.”
The winter festival will take place on Saturday, November 19 in Christchurch Road, Colliers Wood, from 5pm-10pm.
Further entertainment is also planned, including folk music groups, Morris dancing, choirs, and of course, the ukulele orchestra.
There will be also be a demonstration of church bell ringing from the ground floor which will give a rare glimpse of the bell ringers, who are normally hidden upstairs.
Cider, wine and food will also be available and all families are welcome.
To find out more about the Colliers Wood International Ukulele Orchestra visit their Facebook page.