Beethoven’s Pastorale Symphony on ‘Ukulele: The Finished First Movement, and the Results So Far!

Yesterday (Monday, October 7, 2019), the final video for the first movement of the Beethoven Pastorale ‘Ukulele solo transcription was filmed. You can see a performance of the final two pages of Movement 1 in the latest episode of Beethoven of the ‘Ukulele. In the video you can also see some rehearsal footage from last Saturday:

Tomorrow (Wednesday, October 9) marks another milestone-the first time I perform the first movement live.

The idea for this project came into my head on February 7, 2019. At that point there was nothing. As of today (10/8/19) here are some results–Some things that didn’t exist in the world before:

1. Three Transcriptions, and another possibly on the Way

I started transcribing the Pastorale on February 13 and finished on May 3. Since I was accustomed to transcribing a page of Beethoven a day, I immediately started on an ‘Ukulele version of the FIFTH symphony. That transcription was finished on July 31. During that time I also transcribed the second movement from the Pathetique sonata. The second movement of the Pathetique will be recorded and perhaps performed before the year is out. I don’t know about the Fifth.

I did have a “wild hair” thought today: If I start tomorrow, I can finish the SEVENTH symphony in 84 days, on December 31, 2019. Three Beethoven symphonies in one year? Sounds intriguing, but we’ll see.

2. An email list!

This project marks the first time I have attempted to create an email distribution list. I started the list in June of 2019 to send out one page of the “Pastorale” ‘Ukulele transcription each week to anyone interested in learning how to play the piece. As of today (10/8/19), 116 folks subscribe to this list. That means that there are at least 116 people in the world as crazy as me. If you are subscribed already, thank you! If not, what are you waiting for? Sign up here.

3. A video series on YouTube!

In June I also started putting out videos with a performance of a new page of the Pastorale score every week. This has helped the Ukulele for Self-Improvement channel grow from 26 subscribers to 103 as of October 8. Since then nineteen videos related to this project have been released and these videos have a cumulative total of almost 3,000 views. If you haven’t yet, visit the Ukulele for Self-Improvement YouTube channel and hit the “subscribe” button.

4. Four Live Performances of the First Movement Lined Up So Far

I’ve already performed the first movement once, for my Music Appreciation class at Front Range Community College. In addition to the performance happening tomorrow at Regis University, I will be performing it at least twice more, as part of concerts I am presenting on November 16 and December 14. Maybe more opportunities will pop up before the year is out, who knows?

It’s been nice to sit back and reflect on what’s been created so far, but no rest for me: A performance tomorrow and then it’s time to get started on the first video for the SECOND movement! Are you interested to see what happens next? Me too!

I love to hear from you, so drop me a line with any questions or just to say hi!

And…when you’re ready, you can find out more about lessons with me online via Zoom or Skype (or in person, if you happen to be in Denver!) by visiting my lessons page.

Thanks so much for joining me on this adventure!

all the best to you!


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