By Victoria Gaither
If you have a ukulele, The Rutland Area Ukulele Hummin’ Strummin’ Sing-Along Band wants you to join their group.
Now that coronavirus restrictions are easing, and people are getting vaccinated, the members are excited to be back to playing the ukulele together as a group — albeit still wearing masks and socially distancing.
Communications Director Debby Franzoni said, “Beginning May 6, we can meet as a group again at the Castleton Community Center. Our members come from Rutland, Poultney, Brandon, Manchester.”
Song Leader Sheila McIntyre of Rutland said, “We would love to see people from the Killington market. We have players from all over but no one from Killington.”
The group started three years ago, and up until the coronavirus sidelined them, they had a busy playing schedule playing from parades to senior centers, delighting folks with the sounds coming from the small, guitar-like instrument.
Certified Music Practitioner and Member Linda MacFarlane taught classes to the group. “It’s a natural way of life, it brings joy to the wellbeing of people. It also brings people together, whether playing together as a group, on Zoom, or attending a live performance,” she said.
With the Rutland Area Ukulele Hummin’ Strummin’ Singalong Band, no experience is necessary, said Franzoni, “we welcome anyone who can play or wants to play the ukulele.”
The group offers an introductory lesson and advice to go along with it for a promising start to the instrument.
McIntyre believes in the magic of music and how it makes people feel; she explained, “Playing the ukulele makes one smile,” as she chuckled during a phone interview. Her excitement is contagious; she and others in the group hope to pluck a few new members and renew bridges with current members this spring. The ukulele group will meet at the Castleton Community Center in the outdoor space on May 6 begins at 6:30 p.m, with the beginners class at 6 p.m.