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Ukulele strikes a chord with local orchestra

Chris Evans and Ivy Partridge from Burntisland Ukele Group

Chris Evans and Ivy Partridge from Burntisland Ukele Group

“It’s chaotic tonight! We weren’t expecting so many new members to turn up!”

Chris Evans is amazed at the amount of people who have come along to the Burntisland Sands Hotel to play an instrument which is quickly growing in popularity - the ukulele.

The Burntisland Ukulele Orchestra was formed over a year ago by music teacher Ivy Partridge and now they want to encourage new members to join.

Ivy said: “It’s fun, accessible, easy and it’s cheap.

“We’re looking to push the group on. We deliberately kept a low profile for the first year to see how it went but now we want to move forward as a group as we feel more confident.”

Hooked

Chris Evans, who has set up the group’s new Facebook page, joined last year and says he’s now completely hooked.

He said: “I was given a ukulele as a present but I didn’t know how to tune it or what chords to play so I just put it to the side.

“Then when I saw Ivy’s advert last year I thought I’d give it I try and now I’m addicted!”

Ivy says one of the best things about the ukulele is its simplicity. “We choose songs for the group to play that everyone knows like “I’m a Believer” and they’re easy.

“You only need to know two or three easy chords and you’ll be playing them within an hour.”

Chris added: “We don’t take it too seriously. It’s a social evening and there’s a lot of laughter.”

Ivy teaches at Kinross High School and said the ukulele is becoming more and more popular in schools.

“It’s being taught in 40 primary schools across Fife,” she said.

“Some of the members of the group are teachers who want to improve so they can teach it to their pupils.”

Two of the new members who arrived on Monday evening were David Jackson (66) and his grandson Stuart Peyton who will be 11 next month.

“It was my first time and I really enjoyed it,” said David. “I’ll definitely be coming back.” Stuart, who is a pupil a Burntisland Primary School, had a asked for a ukulele for Christmas after having lessons at school.

He said: “I’ve been practising since I got it and it’s good fun.”

The orchestra will be performing at the Fife Festival of Music in a few weeks time which Chris says is a step towards the aim of making Fife: “the ukulele capital of Scotland!”

 

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