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Bringing Out The Uke’s Versatility in Fort Collins
More than 100 years after making its first appearance in Hawaii, the humble ukulele is currently riding a wave of popularity in America.
The state of Colorado, in particular, has no shortage of uke-related clubs, meetups and festivals, and in Fort Collins, the mighty little instrument is really getting the attention it deserves.
The city’s ukulele club, FortUke (or, FU), is where Northern Colorado strums. The acronym may seem a bit rude, but it’s also the Chinese character meaning “fortune”, “good luck” or “happiness”, and that’s just fine with the members of FortUke.
The group is made up of uke lovers and enthusiasts in and around Fort Collins who meet on the first Saturday of each month from 9:30am until 11:30am. They play just about anything that can be played on a uke: 60s, 70s, folk, roots, rock, and of course Hawaiian. According to the club’s Facebook page, some of those genres work well, while some almost work, so members are currently developing a list of favourites to repeat at monthly meetings. New members can expect the songlist to start out easy, get a little bit harder, and finally, try out some solos.
Of course, if one ukulele club isn’t enough, the state of Colorado has many more to offer enthusiasts. In Denver, the Denver Ukulele Community meets at Swallow Hill on the third and fifth Saturday of every month.
In Boulder, the Boulder Ukulele Group meets on the second Saturday of every month.
If performing for others is more up your alley, then Lakewood – an hours drive from Fort Collins – is where you’ll want to visit next. The Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra is on a mission to gather up ukulele players who want to take their playing to the next level. They are willing to teach anyone what they need to know and welcome players of all skill levels. But the best part? Once you join, you’ll be able to call yourself a member of the largest string orchestra in the Rockies.
The group meets most Monday nights for full orchestra rehearsal from 6:20pm until 8:30pm.
Whether you’re a beginner, casual player or professional ukulele musician, there’s something for everyone in – or near – Fort Collins, Colorado.
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