For the joy of music: Huntsville Ukulele Group welcomes new members

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Main photo: Some members of the Huntsville Ukulele Group (front from left) Emer Feldcamp, Mary Lou Verbonak, Laila Etherington, Shirley Collins; (middle row from left) Karen Ross, Fani Caba, Suzanne Willett, Joanne Osborne, Kim Scott; (back from left) Glenn Kay, Sharon Stahls, and Hattie Hutchinson.

The Huntsville Ukulele Group is bringing people together who share a love for music, no matter what their skill level.

The music group was started by five locals who loved playing the ukulele together—Karen Ross, Suzanne Willett, Mary Lou Verbonak, Glenn Kay, and Sharon Stahls.

After a well-received tour playing Christmas music for seniors’ groups, classrooms, and clients of Community Living Huntsville, they decided to form a more official group, led by Ross, to continue spreading ukulele joy.

“Our Christmas sing-a-long was so much fun that we wanted to start playing together regularly and exploring new music,” said Ross.

The founding members first met in Glenn Kay’s ukulele classes that take place at the Active Living Centre on Tuesday evenings. Classes will resume in September, but if you can’t wait to start playing, the year-round Huntsville Ukulele Group welcomes new members anytime, no matter your skill level. If you don’t want to play ukulele, you are welcome to come and sing along.

“Anyone is welcome to join even if you haven’t played before and can’t read music,” said Kay. “We love playing together and sharing the joy of music with the community.”

The group plays all types of music, including pop, jazz, Disney, classic sing-alongs, folk, and hits through the decades. They meet once a month on the third Thursday of the month at the Active Living Centre, from 7-9 p.m. Participants are asked to each contribute $1 per meeting. Attendance varies from month to month, but the most recent jam session had 22 people.

While attendees are encouraged to bring their own ukulele, Kay brings extra from his class that are available for use during the practice. At each session, lyrics and chords are projected onto the wall and, while Ross leads, Kay circles the room helping people with chords as needed.

The Huntsville Ukulele Group is currently practicing for two summer sing-a-longs that will take place at the River Mill Park bandshell on July 18 from 7-9 p.m. and August 15 from 7-9 p.m.

For more information about the group and how to join, check the Huntsville Ukulele Group’s Facebook page.

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