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Small City Shining A Big Light On The Uke
The small city of Bowling Green in Ohio is really showing America’s big cities how to uke.
With a population of just 30,000 (compared to say, New York Cit’s 8.5 million or Los Angeles 3.9 million), Bowling Green has no shortage of opportunities for its small cities ukulele enthusiasts to learn, play and perform.
Wood County District Public Library regularly holds meetings for players of all ages. You won’t find any membership fees or requirements here: All you need is a ukulele. Songbooks and sheets are provided in all meetings, which are held every Sunday at 3pm on the first floor Meeting Room at 251 N. Main St.
The city’s main performing group, the Grande Royale Ukulelists of the Black Swamp, also call Bowling Green home. The group calls themselves “the hardest-working ukulele ensemble in Northwest Ohio”, playing all kinds of music on all kinds of ukuleles.
The quartet – called GRUBS, for short – perform with almost every type of ukulele imaginable: Bass, tenor, baritone, sopranissimo, resonator and eight-string, among others. And their music is just as varied as their ukulele choice.
The GRUBS cover every kind of music they can think of: Pop, rock, swing, folk, country, show tunes – even some originals, which can be found on their self-titled EP released in September 2014. Fans of uke-covered Christmas songs will also be happy to know the GRUBS have an entire album dedicated to just that: Uke Tide.
The quartet have been featured performers at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Tiffin’s Friday Night Live, the Fayette Opera Hose and Lansing’s Mighty Uke Day.
Whether you live in Bowling Green, or have come just for the ukulele community, the little city sure is shining a big light on the ukulele. And while the city does not yet have a festival, residents don’t have to travel far to find one.
The annual Ohio Ukulele Campout is just two hours away at the Mohican Adventures Campground in Loudonville, a quaint country burg about 120 miles Southeast of Bowling Green.
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