Cotuit Center for the Arts will hold its Eighth Annual Ukulele Celebration on Sunday, December 1, at 7 PM. The holiday-themed event features some of the Cape’s best ukulele players and the traditional “Uke-A-Long,” which closes the show and gives everyone with a ukulele an opportunity to play and sing onstage together in a rousing celebration of the ukulele.
Performers include Steve Gregory’s Uke-topian Ukulele, Judy Jollett's Uke-Clectics, the Unlikely Strummers, the Ukuladies, Susan Anarino’s Dolphin Ukulele Ensemble, and the CCftA All-Stars.
Steve Gregory, who teaches beginning and intermediate ukulele at CCtfA and is the owner of Score Music in Sandwich, has organized the ukulele celebration since its inception. He is a big fan of the
ukulele. “It’s a nice, friendly, affordable folk instrument that is easy and comfortable to play,” he said. “It appeals to anyone who wants to play music for enjoyment and to all ages. I’ve had students as young as 4 years old and into their 80s.”
“Admission to the Ukulele Celebration is free if you bring a ukulele and join in the play-along at the end of the show,” he said. “It’s a blast to be up there on stage with 45 or 50 people all singing and playing. There’s nothing like it. It’s a really intense, profound experience.”
Uke-Clectics, so-named because of their interest a wide variety of music, was founded by Judy Jollett, who has structured the group so that members teach each other. They occasionally add other instruments into the mix, including clarinet, steel drums, saxophone, fiddle, or djembe.
The Unlikely Strummers feature ukulele players from across southern Massachusetts. Based at An Unlikely Story bookstore in Plainville, they are co-directed by Cindy Miller and Lisa Cohen.
Expect the unexpected from the Ukeladies. They play an eclectic collection of folk, rock, Beatles, Americana and old favorites. The Ukeladies are Lois Hirshberg, Denya LeVine, Nancy Davison, Barbara Adams, Bea Gremlich, Gregory Baird and Diane Thayer.
The Dolphin Ukulele Ensemble is a children’s ukulele group founded and directed by South Yarmouth kindergarten teacher Susan Anarino that offers fun, upbeat singing and strumming. The group is named after the brand of small, brightly colored soprano ukuleles that they play.
The CCFTA All Stars features intermediate students from Gregory’s ukulele classes at Cotuit Center for the Arts. Gregory has been coaching the All Stars since 2012. Classes, he said, often lead to “strummin', hootin' and hollerin'.”
Sheet music and instruction videos are available at the CCftA website (artsonthecape.org) for those playing in the Uke-A-Long. There will be a short rehearsal at 6:30 PM, 30 minutes before the show begins.
Tickets are $20, and admission is free for those bringing their ukuleles and joining in the Uke-A-Long. Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28 in Cotuit. For more information, and ukulele song charts, visit artsonthecape.org, or call 508-428-0669.
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Eighth Annual Ukulele Celebration
Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Route 28, Cotuit
Sunday, December 1, 7 PM, 6:30 PM for ukulele rehearsal
$20; free for Uke-A-Long participants