Keen musicians are being invited to add another string to their bow at a new ukulele group.
The newly-formed beginners group, which meets fortnightly at Bojangles Cafe in Sea Road, Fulwell, has struck a chord and now has more than a dozen members.
It was set up by Paul McCandless from Fulwell who says he’s delighted with the response.
Speaking about why he established the group, he said: “I went down to two days a week at work and, at 56, found that though there was quite a lot going on for children or older folk, in terms of societies, there’s not much going on for people who are semi-retired. So I decided to start something for the days when I wasn’t working.
“From there the idea is to see if there are other hobbies people can get involved with. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how many members we’ve attracted so far.”
Paul, a teacher trainer at Sunderland University, only began strumming a year ago, but says it’s the ukulele is an easier instrument to learn than most.
“The ukulele’s popularity is on the rise,” he said. “You find that a lot of schools are starting to teach it now as it’s a cheap instrument and is easy for kids to manipulate as it only has four strings. It’s also a lot of fun.”
The group, which is taught by experienced ukulelist Charlie Lally, meets for free at Bojangles, with the next meeting taking place on Monday, February 20 from 7pm to 9pm.
Paul said: “It’s great to get support from Bojangles. Rachel and Rob, the owners, say they are happy to give back to the community. I’m also really grateful to Alenia’s MusicArt in Sunderland for all their advice and help with musical instruments and accessories.”
•Anyone wishing to join the group is welcome to attend the next meeting on Monday.