Another organization called the “Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain” (UOGB) exists under the direction of George Hinchliffe, leading his dedicated troupe of musicians. Hinchliffe makes claims on the UOGB website (www.ukuleleorchestra.com) that are pure invention and defamatory falsehoods. It states that we, The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (TUKUO) have advertised our product with pictures and other material taken from and of the UOGB. This is totally false and we reject these claims unreservedly. As supposed proof of this claim the homepage of an advanced ticket sales office has said that at some point a picture was changed, however everyone knows that the owner is responsible for the accuracy and security of his own website.
It’s not only us that knows this but agencies and established concert halls have also been “informed” that such claims are being made because we are perceived as competition which is disturbing for Mr. Hinchliffes orchestra. Let us state right now that there are hundreds of ukulele orchestras worldwide; UK, USA, Australia, Germany, New Zealand etc etc and all have their place in the general scheme of things.
Professional and semi-professional ukulele orchestras all over the world have the right to showcase themselves. There are such great names like the “New England Ukulele Orchestra” a “BBC Ukulele orchestra”, a “Wellington (New Zealand) Ukulele Orchestra”, the “Ukulele Orchestra of Bremen” etc and all of them are very good and very funny. The likelihood of confusing the different orchestras is nonsense; if anyone actually mixed up the Berlin Philharmonic with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra one can only say “bad luck”!
Incidentally it is also not unheard of that editorial and/or marketing agencies have in the past confused different Orchestra images! A good example of musical diversity on the same theme is Gospel Music; there are so many choirs i e the Golden Gospel Singers, the Black Gospel Singers, the Harlem Gospel Singers, the New York Gospel Singers etc but none would seriously claim to have invented the gospel song or indeed claim to be the “one and only” (allowed) Gospel choir, that would be ridiculous. Equally ridiculous are statements issued to the press by pretentious ukulele orchestras such as those presented by Mr Hinchliffe.
The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra is an independent ensemble and consists of highly professional ukulele players from the United Kingdom under the leadership of internationally experienced and renowned composer, conductor and arranger Peter Moss. His name alone guarantees the totally independent integrity of the orchestra. And Pete Moss has already played ukulele before Mr. Hinchliffe was actually born !
In a hitherto unique bullying campaign within the whole concert culture, including criminal emails from anonymous accounts to events organizers, concert halls and even the press, UOGB, scared of unwanted competition, has systematically tried to prevent since its inception TUKUO operating in Germany and Austria to the extent that they enlisted the help of their fan club to create and send such mails. So worried were they that George Hinchliffe appeared in person at one of our concerts together with his management and proceeded to, illegally without permission, record our whole live show that evening in Stuttgart, 19th March 2011. George can sit on his high horse all night long but it does not get away from the fact that he himself does not shy away from copyright violation when it suits his own purpose!
After our years of success we are gaining the impression that George Hinchliffe is beginning to copy us! Whilst we have, to the best of our knowledge, not copied one single piece of material from UOGB, coincidentally shortly after our tour of 2011 which included our arrangement of “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, a video under the same title appeared by UOGB on YouTube. Another coincidence; included in our 2013 Tour was the title “Rollin’ in the Deep” and in May suddenly there appeared on YouTube a version of this very song by UOGB at an open air concert in France! — Why does Mr Hinchliffe not focus on his own musical development? why does he spend his time watching other professional orchestras in order to …… attack them? ….. or even copy them?
Of course every band can cover songs, the rights belong to the composers and lyricists and are protected by international copyright law.
On one point we even congratulate Mr Hinchliffe; We officially supported the “Ukuleles For Peace” project founded by Paul Moore and Daphna Orion in Israel and suddenly in Summer 2012 George, together with a camera team, took it into his head to go to Israel and hijack the idea in order to use it with full publicity for himself and his orchestra! Very good George, maybe it would have helped the children more if instead of seeking self-promotion the money laid out for the entire trip for yourself and camera crew would have been very easily donated direct to the charity.
On a final note; negative manipulation and character assassination against others on the internet should be outlawed world-wide.
With our many years of experience as producers and concert organizers we whole-heartedly distance ourselves from such methods and argue that the free exchange of artists, ideas and culture should be borderless and remain the highest achievement of European culture.