Huntsville Ukulele Group spreads holiday cheer with Christmas sing-alongs

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It’s hard not to feel joyful when you’re singing with others. Add in a ukulele or two and you’re almost guaranteed to feel your spirits rise.

That’s why the Huntsville Ukulele Group, which formed out of the ukulele class offered through the Town of Huntsville’s leisure programs, has gone on the road with Christmas sing-alongs around town this season.

“It’s just to spread some Christmas cheer, and I believe singing and song makes people happier,” says Karen Ross, who organizes the group.

Group member Mary Lou Verbonac, who learned to play when she was 69, hopes it will also encourage more people who are thinking about trying ukulele to pick it up. “It’s easy and fun. Come out and join us. We would like to see the group grow.”

There are four players in the group—the youngest, Mya Wilkin, is in public school and started playing when she was 10; the oldest are retired and just learned to play in the past few years—and they are hoping that both those taking the beginner and advanced classes at the Town, as well as any closet ukulele players out there, will join them. Or if you don’t want to play but you like to sing, you can join them for that, too, like Pauline Diamond does.

You can connect with the group at an upcoming sing-along (there’s a list at the end of this post) or via the Town’s ukulele classes.

The Huntsville Ukulele Group (front from left) Mya Wilkin, Karen Ross, Mary Lou Verbonac and Sharon Stahls with singer Pauline Diamond (back left) got members of the Town of Huntsville's Diner's Club Luncheon singing along to Christmas carols at the Active Living Centre on December 5.

The Huntsville Ukulele Group (front from left) Mya Wilkin, Karen Ross, Mary Lou Verbonac and Sharon Stahls with singer Pauline Diamond (back left) got members of the Town of Huntsville’s Diner’s Club Luncheon singing along to Christmas carols at the Active Living Centre on December 5.

“This is one of those fabulous stories where if you build it, they will come!” says Simone Babineau, the Manager of Recreation and Leisure Services for the Town of Huntsville.

Instructor Glenn Kay and Babineau had a vision for some lighthearted musical fun for all ages and stages of learning an instrument. “The ukulele is just that—fun, easy to learn and, when done in a group setting, open to all talents, young and old. This program has taken off and is a big hit!” says Babineau. She encourages everyone to give it a try—there’s both a beginner and an advanced class.

If you take the beginner class, you don’t even need a ukulele at first. There are eight available to borrow and learn with.

For more information on ukulele classes, check the Town of Huntsville Leisure Guide or stop in at the customer service desk at the Canada Summit Centre. It makes a great Christmas gift for anyone 14 years or older, notes Babineau.

And if you want to catch the Huntsville Ukulele Group in action, you’ll find Christmas sing-alongs at these locations in the next few weeks:

  • December 6 at 1:00 p.m. at Community Living Huntsville (99 West Road)
  • December 18 at 2:00 p.m. at Country Moments (185 Lakewood Park Road)
  • December 19 at 1:00 p.m. at Huntsville Public Library

Watch clips of some of the songs the Huntsville Ukulele Club played at the Town of Huntsville’s Diner’s Club Luncheon at the Active Living Centre on December 5 in the video below.

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