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THE ROANOKE UKULELE SCENE
Uke Groups Growing In Roanoke, Virginia
Between 2010 and 2012, ukulele sales nationwide nearly doubled, jumping from 581,000 to more than one million. By 2017, sales hit 1,750,000, and that number is expected to rise again in 2018.
With no sign of the public losing interest in these diminutive, sweet-sounding instruments, suppliers have even started to cater to the many players who picked up their first ukulele nearly a decade ago with high-end or “alternative” models like banjoleles, bass-ukes and electric ukes.
The little four-stringed instrument is on fire, and ukulele communities across the United States couldn’t be more thankful. The uke boom spreading from coast to coast is bringing more ukuleles and enthusiasts to groups, clubs and meet-ups in California, New York, Florida, and everywhere in between.
Virginia, a state filled to the brim with ukulele enthusiasts, is currently enjoying the wave of popularity the mighty little instrument is riding, too. In Roanoke, ukulele enthusiasts have joined together to create the Star City Ukulele Circle, a group of players in and around the Roanoke, Virginia area that get together regularly to strum and sing.
The Ukulele Circle first met at Mill Mountain Coffee in Tanglewood West in January of 2013. Now, with more than 165 members on Facebook, the group shares their love and appreciation for the uke every Thursday evening at the Cave Spring United Methodist Church.
According to a 2017 news article, the club even has some “groupies” – people who chose to eat in the patio room just so they can hear the music better.
As for song lists, the Star City Ukulele Circle members take turns choosing the tunes they will play from a wide variety of music genres. Everyone around the circle is given a chance to select favourite songs from the group’s growing collection of song-charts or introduce new songs and lead the group in playing.
Ukulele enthusiasts outside the local Raonoke area or those too far to join in on meetings are also welcome to follow the group’s activities and participate in social media discussions. The Star City Ukulele Circle welcomes all levels of ability, knowledge, experience, expertise, gender, and age.
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