|Website copyright 2008. G. Wong-Monaco. For more info, contact: GiGi Wong-Monaco @ firstname.lastname@example.org
WONDERWALL Music Shoppe. Chicago Heights IL Ph: 708.754.7026
|E komo mai ~
Our Mission: To Spread the Aloha and Joy of Ukulele Playing!
Who We Are: We are members from the Oak Park Ukulele Meetup Group who started out by coming to the Thursday night meetups and wanted to gig out. Thus, the 'performance group - The Harrison Street Ukulele Players was formed.
How It Started: Officially established in the Fall of 2008 by Honolulu native, GiGi Wong-Monaco, co-owner of WONDERWALL. GiGi formed the Oak Park Ukulele Meetup Group in October 2008. Three months later, in early January 2009, the producer for CBS Chicago Early Morning News called GiGi, asking for ukulele players to come play 'live' for Barack Obama's upcoming inaugural celebration. (See photo on home page.) Since then, the group has been growing and is open to any current member of the meetup group.
In November, 2009, WXRT Terri Hemmert became our first 'Honorary Ukulele Member' (H.U.M.) Terri was so honored by this, she even announced it 'live' on her "Breakfast With The Beatles Sunday radio show!
Milestone ~ One day in the Spring of 2008, GiGi had a brilliant idea....'set a record for the most ukulele players onstage' at the 2008 Fest For Beatles Fans' Battle of the Bands. (YouTube.com) Throughout the summer, friends and new friends met and practiced every Thursday evening. Word got around (thanks to the support of WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert!) and we ended up with 28 players from all over the country, including a very special guest,
a British bloke and a Rutle at that, Neil Innes! After this amazing time, the local Chicagoland players decided to continue to meet up and 'gig out'. And both ukulele groups have been growing in numbers ever since.
In 2009, founder GiGi Wong-Monaco organized the 'World Record Attempt For Largest Ukulele Ensemble' playing a Beatles song, "Love Me Do" at the annual Fest For Beatles Fans, Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel. Though they did not break the record, it was the FIRST time, Beatles fans got to play with celebrity Fest guests, Greg Hawks (The Cars), Earl Slick (John Lennon's guitarist), Mark & Brett Hudson, and the Fest house band, Liverpool.
|Songs We Play: The Beatles and their solo works, 60's, Pop (The Monkees, Hollies, etc), 70's, Pop , Rock, Hawaiian Songs (Traditional/'Hapa Haole'), 40's, 50's, Tin Pan Alley, Holiday/Christmas Songs, Movie/Film Soundtracks, and more.
A few events/venues we have played::
WGN-TV Channel 9 'Chicago's Very Own Christmas Stories', December 2012.
HELP! JAPAN Fundraiser for Red Cross, 2011.
WDCB 90.9 "Folk Festival - Bob Dylan Birthday", 2011.
FitzGerald's 31st American Music Festival, 2011.
Beatles 'Get Back' Art ShowmNiles Public Library, 2010.
Old Town School of Folk Music - Brendan Hedges Scholarship Fundraiser, 2010.
"The Mighty Uke" film, Gene Siskel Film Center, 2010.
Forest Park's 'Holiday Walk', 2010..
Oak Park 4th of July Parade, 2009, 2010, 2011
CBS 2 Chicago 'Early Morning News', 2009.
Fest For Beatles Fans-Battle of Bands, 2009-present.
Blockbuster's BEATLES ROCK BAND Release, 2009.
Here Comes The Sun Cancer Awareness Event, 2009.
Available for private parties, weddings and other events.
(And no, Terri Hemmert does not do gigs with us.)
For bookings and other information, please contact:
GiGi Wong-Monaco, 708.754.7026
Basic Ukulele Lessons by GiGi Wong-Monaco.
Inquire at Wonderwall. GiGi is the founder of the Oak Park Ukulele Meetup Group; The Harrison Street Ukulele Players; and Ukulele Suburbia (Chicago Heights).
|As seen on & in media: CBS2 Chicago (2009) CHICAGO TRIBUNE (DEC. 26, 2011)
Oak Leaves (2009) Oak Park Patch Gene Siskel Film Center
Performed live on
CBS2 Chicago Early Morning News,
for President Obama's Inauguration.
Jan. 16, 2009.
Photo copyright G. Wong-Monaco. 2008
All Photos Copyright G. Wong-Monaco. 2008-2012. All Photos Copyright G. Wong-Monaco. 2008-2012.