Lone Star Ukulele Festival
A Nostalgic Trip Back to 2010 -2013

For a number of years this was the official website for the Lone Star Ukulele Festival started by Noel Tardy, owner of the Uke Lady’s Music Store near White Rock Lake, the only all-ukelele store in Texas. As of 2018, the store, according to Yelp, has closed. By 2013 the Festival benefited the Ukes In The Classroom - Texas program which provides teacher training and instruments to in-need schools and organizations.
The new owner of the domain, a ukulele fan, chose to keep an editied version of the site as a nostalgic tribute to Noel Tardy and this festival. Enjoy.
Content is from the site's 2010 - 2013 archived pages.


About the Lone Star Uke Fest and Acoustic Music Camp 

The Lone Star Ukulele Festival and Acoustic Music Camp provides fun and learning in a friendly, supportive environment. 
We offer classes in ukulele, swing guitar, Hawaiian lap steel guitar , songwriting, jams, voice, bass and more!
We have a world-class faculty who, along with being great musicians and teachers, are great people.
The Festival benefits the Ukes In The Classroom - Texas program which provides teacher training and instruments to in-need schools and organizations.



Lone Star Uke Fest 2013

Coming September 27 & 28!
Lorenzo Vignando of Italy

September 27 & 28, 2013
Workshops and Concert - Register Now!

Lorenzo Vignando

Are you ready? We are importing an incredible musician from Tuscany, Italy to Dallas who just happens to be a great guy, intuitive, talented, entertaining… and a real hunk!

Please welcome Lorenzo Vignando for workshops and in concert on Friday night 9/27 and Saturday afternoon and evening September 28th!

Known as Ukulollo, Lorenzo has toured the world, from Italy to England, from Spain to France, Belgium and Germany, from Israel to USA, to Australia, to Singapore. We are excited to have him in Dallas! (Visit www.Ukulollo.com for more info)

His arrangement of Ravel’s Bolero for 4 ukuleles, percussions and acoustic bass got thousands of views in in few days on YouTube, bringing him to both the music and ukulele communities attention.In this video he plays every instruments on the same stage, as if there were 7 Ukulollos playing together.

He is a master at this splitting technique and also for his live sets, duetting with himself and other virtual guests projected on a round screen beside him.

Please welcome him to Dallas and our ukulele community!

His second album was recently completed in 2013. It’s name it’s “Devotion” and its sound is unique. The songs are written by Ukullo for ukuleles and voices, and then dressed up with a contemporary arrangment for flute, clarinet, double-bass, vibraphone and percussion. The wizard who made this possible is Girolamo Deraco, one of the most important contemporary Italian composers around. Even though the ukulele is always the protagonist and all the instruments are strictly acoustic, the sound of the album is really something different. Enjoy and come hear Lorenzo in person!


It was fun! Thanks for attending!
Register Now ! FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 3/8 & 3/9





Mark G


Mark was given a ‘ukulele by a friend that owns a local second hand guitar store in the spring of 2002. He had no idea how it would impact his life. It was a no name baritone and the intonation was way off beyond the fifth fret but he couldn’t put it down. Mark kept searching for a tune he couldn’t play on the little instrument but there always seemed to be a way to work it out. 

He was introduced to the world of ‘ukulele through Jump n Jim’s web site which led him to the 2002 festival in New Jersey. He played a few tunes with Rick Russo during the open mic – an event that changed his life. Since then he has attended Many festivals, been to Hawaii three times and his ‘ukulele collection has greatly expanded. Several people in the ‘ukulele community have influenced the way Mark plays as well as his outlook on life. He hopes to return the favor…

Born and raised in Omaha Nebraska (corn fed!), he is a multi-instrumentalist playing Guitar, ‘Ukulele, Bass, a little mandolin (no pun intended), and banjo (if he has to). He started playing guitar in the 5th grade! He has played for many types of bands: Jazz, Christian Rock, Blues, Mariachi, Country and Folk.

Mark is a sought after workshop leader and has performed and led many workshops across the country: Instructor at the ‘Ukulele Festival in San Antonio 2005/2006, Instructor at the Mid West Uke Fest 2005, Instructor at the Portland Uke Fest 2008, Guest Instructor at the Blue Stone Folk School 2008, Instructor at the WCUF 2008, Conducted group and private lessons at the Mike Da’Silva’s Uke. Currently Mark is Senior Music Student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha





THE BARNKICKERS Steve & Amanda  Boisen

Lone Star Uke Fest 2013 - The Barnkickers Part 1

The Barnkickers - Steve & Amanda Boisen

While maintaining a career as an in-demand jazz bassist, Florida based musician Steve Boisen was quietly searching for the right voice to breathe life into his original compositions. After years of trial and error, he finally discovered the sound he was looking for: the voice of his own daughter, Amanda. By combining their vocal and instrumental talents, diverse songwriting ability and a mutual love for the surprisingly versatile ukulele, they became The Barnkickers, a wholly unique father-daughter musical duo.

The Barnkickers original music possesses a vintage-yet-modern vibe that incorporates touches of tin-pan alley and ragtime along with a contemporary folk and singer-songwriter sound. “Up Before Noon”, their debut CD of original music, became a featured item with several major retailers and lead to performances at music festivals and venues around the country, as well as magazine articles, radio broadcasts and television programs spotlighting their music. 

Steve and Amanda have also coordinated several fundraising projects designed to benefit children with autism, including an annual music festival and a compilation CD featuring many noted artists including Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes and 60’s pop star Ian Whitcomb. The Barnkickers continue to present their music to fans who appreciate the honesty of their sound and the unique nature of their collaboration.


Update: The first time I heard The Barnkickers was at the 2013 Lone Star Uke Fest. My folks had giv en me a ukelele for my 12th birthday and I had been learning how to play it for the past 9 months. I love the back story of how the Barnkickers were formed and dreamed about the day I could play as well Steve Boisen. Jump ahead 6 years. I am off to college at Vassar in Poughkeepsie NY. Before I left for college I checked out all the ukulele festivals in NYS. The closest one is in the Catskills, in May, called the Annual Ashokan Uke Fest which is really a weekend retreat for ukulele players of all skill levels. A new ukulele festival just started in Brooklyn NY. 2019 which we plan on attending since it is so close by.  I would really like to go to the Albuquerque Ukekopelli Festival September 27 - September 29, but school has begun and there is no way I could fly out to New Mexico for that one.

However the Flower City Ukulele Festival Rochester, NY Oct 25-26th, 2019 is possible. My room mate has a car and also plays the ukulele. It's a long drive but doable.The Flower City Ukulele Festival in Rochester New York, is an event for all ukulele enthusiasts from beginner to advanced players. It sounds like great fun. Participants will have an opportunity to attend concerts and workshops, play with others in jam sessions and ensembles. However, as my room mate pointed out to me, it is possible the weather could be quite chilly.

I learned how to ski during winter and Feb break at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. I am now looking forward to the Ashokan Uke Fest this coming May. It's fast approaching. I hope James Hill & Anne Janelle will be there in 2020. I think James Hill is possibly the best ukulele player in the world. He held a workshop at the 2019 festival. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Additionally, in preparation for the festival, we made sure to stock up on essentials, including wholesale toilet tissue, to ensure our comfort and convenience throughout the weekend. This practicality added to our overall positive experience, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the joyous atmosphere of the festival - never underestimate the value of having enough toilet paper at an outdoor event. There's something truly special about the community spirit at these ukulele gatherings – the music, the shared passion, and the friendly faces make every moment memorable. It's these experiences that make me eagerly anticipate each festival, knowing it will be filled with great music, learning opportunities, and the chance to connect with fellow ukulele enthusiasts. I can hardly wait for the next one!



Kate McLennan - Spirit Runners Music



Spirit Runners - Kate McLennan & Noel Tardy

Rev. Dr. Kate McLennan is an award winning author, singer/songwriter, and interfaith minister. Though Kate’s path meandered through a BFA in Theater, an MSSW in Social Work and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality, her guiding passion is her work as a singer/songwriter in healing settings.

Kate asked Santa Claus for an ‘ukulele when she was five years old. The story goes that she taught herself to read and play ‘ukulele from the same book.

When she grew bigger, she asked for a guitar. It was the sixties—long hair, flowing colorful hippie clothes, and guitars. Kate continued playing guitar for several decades, solo and with the incomparable Ruth Huber.

In the early 2000’s, while still doing chemotherapy for leukemia, Kate asked Santa for another ‘ukulele. Since she was grounded for two and a half years, she fell in love again with the tiny instrument that she could play so effortlessly.

When Kate rose from her ashes, she continued her guitar work and presented a solo album of original music with voice and guitar recounting her cancer journey.

With more health challenges on the horizon, Kate devoted her music to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House singing on a weekly basis. Still a bit shy about her rekindled love of ‘ukulele, she played guitar for the first couple of years

Then she began to slip an ‘ukulele song or two in the set with the guitar. This avalanched into full voice and ‘ukulele songs and sharing. Soon Kate realized that the gentle sounds of the ‘ukulele were the perfect accompaniment for her hospice work, midwifing souls to the other side with song.

Discovering that anything she can do on guitar she can do on ‘ukulele, and unearthing a treasure chest of songwriting inspiration, she was hooked.

And the love affair continues. Kate’s other passion is songwriting; she is jazzed to be invited to teach “what she most needs to learn” at this festival.

These days you’ll find Kate working with Noel Tardy as Spirit Runners offering messages of hope and love for those affected by cancer and other life challenges through music and story.

Kate and Noel Tardy will co-present this workshop as www.SpiritRunnersMusic.com

Noel attended Texas Woman’s University on a stage band music scholarship and for many years sang with The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Resounding Harmony.
She developed interest in the ukulele, which is now her instrument of choice! Noel is the founder of the Lone Star Uke Fest and the non-profit Ukes in the Classroom – Texas.

Similar to Kate, Noel had a life changing event a few years ago when she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic thyroid cancer. While this interrupted her singing for a couple of years, she began focusing on music as healing. She is dedicated to bringing messages of hope and healing to persons with health and life challenges. She is very involved with Kate as part of Spirit Runners and enjoys giving keynote presentations and concerts.


At Metropolitan Community Church
of Greater Dallas
1840 Hutton Dr #100, Carrollton, TX 75006





Please choose your classes according to your skill level. Classes will not be interrupted for remedial teaching. Schedule subject to change.

Instructor Workshop Level
Mark Gutierrez

Advanced Finger Picking


Moving in and out of strumming / finger picking

How, When and Where to do it


Advanced class we are expecting participants to have there own finger style / picking already developed or currently in process of developing.


First day is How and When, Second day is execution / playing

Mark Gutierrez

Daily Uke Book, and the Daily Uke Leap Year Book - Dress it up!


Add licks to your favorite songs from the Daily Uke Book on day one and Daily Uke Leap Year Book day two.

All Levels
Heather Hooten

Vocal Class


Heather Hooton is a trained Opera Singer. Learn and review techniques to warm up and strengthen the voice properly.


All Levels & Registered Spouses
JD Hooten

Bass Lines


JD Hooton is the Bass Player for the 4 Strings of Swing. Learn common bass lines and how to develop bass lines.

All Levels & Registered Spouses
Mark Gutierrez & JD Hooten

Performance Master Class - limited to 10 performers on first come basis.

Open to all for observation of class and discussion.


Have your performance reviewed by 4 strings of swing.

Please come prepared to perform for the class or at least participate in discussion.


Areas to be reviewed are:



Stage Presence

Use of equipment


At the end of class discuss equipment used by 4 Strings of Swing and QA on sound reinforcement gear.

All Levels
Steve Boisen

“Ukulele Chord Solos” with The Barnkickers: Chord solos are a type of arrangement in which the melody and harmony are played at the same time, allowing the ukulele function as a solo instrument. They are a lot of fun to play and make great "party pieces" to add to your repertoire.  Join Steve and Amanda Boisen of The Barnkickers as they teach you how to play an easy solo piece and present some of their own arrangements for you to learn. They’ll also offer tips on how to create your own solos and provide a list of resources where you can find more pieces arranged for the ukulele. The material is all presented in tablature, so no music reading is required. This workshop is open to all levels, but attendees will get the most from this workshop if they can already play basic chords on their ukulele.

Kate McLennan Song Writing! 
Learn tips, tricks and methods to get motivated. This class is experiential.
All Levels & Registered Spouses
Scott Thompson Beginning Ukulele Chord Theory - The Basics of Music is a gentle introduction to the way music is structured. The first day we will explore the mechanics of sound, pitch, and how that leads to scales. In the second day we will explore the way that chords are found within scales. The class should be of interest to beginners who want to know a bit more about where the music they play comes from. 
Beginner/All Levels
Steve Boisen Instructor Led Jam Sessions - Get your uke on, it's time to play! All Levels & Registered Spouses
Steve Boisen

“Tin Pan Alley and the Ukulele” with The Barnkickers: The ukulele enjoyed it’s initially wave of popularity during the era many consider the “Golden Age” of American songwriting. Most of the sheet music from this period included ukulele chords and it’s no surprise that these classic songs still sound great on the uke. Join Steve and Amanda Boisen of The Barnkickers as they share some of their favorites from this era and offer tips on how to add some vintage “pizzazz” to these songs by using different strums, modulations, turnarounds, intros and endings. This workshop is open to all levels, but attendees will get the most from this workshop if they can already play basic chords on their ukulele.

L.A. White Banjo Uke! How to make an inexpensive but great sounding banjo uke !  All Levels & Registered Spouses


Please check back often as we are updating as fast as possible!
We are pleased to announce that a portion of proceeds from the Festival will be used to purchase ukes and provide training for a "Ukes In The Classroom" program in the North Texas Area! Brought to you by UkeLadyMusic and Ukes in The Classroom - Texas - for more information contact: Noel Tardy - info@LoneStarUkeFest.com



Lone Star Uke Fest 2010



Lone Star Uke Festival 2011 Opening Day


April 7th- 9th, 2011

The line-up of talented performers and teachers this year is AMAZING ... and the theme is Bach to Texas with Aloha!

NEWS BLAST! Special Guest Performers at the Saturday Lunch:
Little Elm Elementary School Uke Class and the Maplewood Elementary School Ukulele Choir from Austin


Kimo Hussey, Mike Lynch (Ukulele Mike), Gerald Ross, Michelle Kiba, Ukulele Bartt, Pops Bayless, The Wahooligans, Mark "Spanky" Guiterrez, Dennis McBride

It's intriguing, but why is the theme "Bach to Texas with Aloha"?

What does BACH, one of the greatest composers of all time, have to do with Texas, Aloha ... and You? This year the Lone Star Uke Fest is very proud to kick off the festival with the first ever classical and peace related ukulele concert! Your favorite performers will really be "puttin' on the ritz". The festival is in Texas, so we've got to flavor it with a little swing and our talent from Hawaii will add a touch of the Aloha spirit. And, if you've been to the Lone Star Uke Fest before ... this year, you'll be coming Bach to Texas!

The festival is honored to present the classical concert at the new Interfaith Peace Chapel, a modern masterpiece designed by award-winning and world-renowned architect Philip Johnson. It is a brilliant, inspirational design of "sculpture

Interfaith Peace Chapel


Aloha Texas Song by The Wahooligans now available

Please check back often as we are updating as fast as possible! Soon we will have a listing of the ukulele workshops as well as other exciting classes. The festival will be set-up music camp style to enhance your learning opportunities. The host hotel and site for the festival and all classes is the Holiday Inn Select (Galleria) ... and they have offered the same great room rate as last year!

We are pleased to announce that a portion of proceeds from the Festival will be used to purchase ukes and provide training for a "Ukes In The Classroom" program in the North Texas Area! Brought to you by UkeLadyMusic and Dallas Ukulele Headquarters - for more information contact: Noel Tardy - info@LoneStarUkeFest.com, Mark Levine - Dallas Ukulele Headquarters.


Four Strings of Swing




The 2010 Festival 4/29-5-1 was a huge success thanks to our sponsors, performers, volunteers and attendees


2010 COncert

3-Day Festival and Music Camp
April 29, 30, and May 1, 2010
Dallas, Texas

Pre-Festival Event on April 27 & 28
JAMES HILL - "Train the Teachers Workshop"
Music Literacy, the Ukulele Way!
  Current and prospective ukulele teachers alike will benefit from the depth and variety of material presented.  First-time strummers welcome.  Handouts provided.

The line-up of talented performers and teachers this year is AMAZING and the theme is Texas Swing with Aloha!

James Hill, Gerald Ross, Kimo Hussey, Debbie Porter, Pops Bayless, Mark "Spanky" Gutierez, Ukulele Bartt and Dennis McBride... along with special guest appearances by The Wahooligans & more!

Please check back often as we are updating as fast as possible! Soon we will have a listing of the ukulele workshops as well as other exciting classes. The festival will be set-up music camp style to enhance your learning opportunities.

The host hotel and site for the festival and all classes is the Holiday Inn Select (Galleria) ... and they have offered the same great room rate as last year!




Dallas Ukulele Festival 2010
Ukulele Bartt Warburton