Joni Back-Bubenzer – Blue Stone Folk School, Board Member
There comes a time in every ukulele’s life when its person feels the need to play it in the company of other ukulele players. The scenario usually goes something like this:
A ukulele is acquired. Usually there are two paths to follow after this initial act of bravery. In the first scenario, the person in possession of the ukulele will fiddle with it for awhile, tune it, attempt a song or two, then hide it away in a closet. They will consider ukulele ownership a novel quirk that sets them apart from the regular crowd, and they are frequently spotted at parties, informing anyone who cares to listen, “I have a ukulele, but I don’t know how to play it.” A person like this would certainly benefit by knowing other ukulele-having individuals.
The second path is one taken by the more adventurous individual. A ukulele is acquired. The person in possession of the ukulele demonstrates boundless energy in seeking out lessons, downloading songs and perfecting strums, joining ukulele forums and combing eBay and estate sales, in hopes of finding a rare vintage uke for a song. People like this take their ukuleles with them everywhere, whether they play them or not. They find ukulele heroes like Jake Shimabukuru, Gus and Finn or the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra on You Tube, and share their videos with friends–convinced that they share their enthusiasm for the four-stringed instrument. They spend long winter evenings strumming instead of doing the dishes or watching reality TV shows.
But, as winter makes way for spring, these musical souls find something lacking. They know their scales and all the words to “Five Foot Two.” They know that the guy who played Jimminy Cricket was first famous for his expert uke playing. They have calluses on their fingers and music on the mind. But, they are still missing one important thing: other ukulele players.
Ukuleles are social instruments. They are fun, accessible, and they sound great in a group. Ukulele people need other ukulele people.
A few members of the Blue Stone Folk School have decided to take this matter into their own hands. Building on the foundation established by the School Director Geoff Davis’ beginning Uke classes, we are pleased to announce the Blue Stone Folk School Ukulele Society.
This group is in its beginning stages, but the general idea is this: We will meet at the Folk School on the Second and Fourth Thursday of each month, starting June 11, from 7-9:00 PM. All ages and skill levels are welcome. There will be a brief lesson (30 minutes) at the beginning of each session, followed by practicing, jamming, and learning more about our favorite instrument.
Questions can be directed to Joni Back-Bubenzer at email@example.com