Ukulele Club hosts ‘Anything but a Uke’ night

Ukulele Club hosts ‘Anything but a Uke’ night
Students gather in the Back Alley to play Ukuleles during the Ukulele Club’s meeting. Photo by Ari Forcelle.

A variety of instruments filled the room, some of which included a piano, a flute, a melodica, a violin, electric guitars and more. All different kinds of rhythms echoed off the walls of the Back Alley to the tune of “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.

On Monday, March 28, the Ukulele Club gathered in the Back Alley for their meeting, but this night looked a little different for the group.

The club was hosting an event they called “anything but a ukulele night,” although ukuleles were still welcomed.

“We wanted to do something out of the box,” sophomore treasurer Lindsey Funke said.

According to senior President Ted Van Alstyne, the idea for Monday night’s theme arose from a former idea for a club when the Ukulele Club was in its beginning stages.

The original plan was to make a club that came together to play a variation of songs with a variety of instruments. A few students thought of calling it “Jam Club.”

“We were worried everyone would think it meant jam on toast,” Van Alstyne said.

Concerned that people might think the group makes fruit preserves, they opted for a more universal club. It was then that the idea of ukuleles was introduced.

“Regular ukuleles are a lot more accessible if you don’t have an instrument,” senior public relations chair Anne Schleusener said.

According to Van Alstyne, ukuleles are an instrument that you can teach a variety of people and understand fairly quickly, which is why the group opted for them. However, all instruments are welcome to join any event.

Throughout the night, many songs were played, some of which included, “Bring Me To Life,” by Evanescence, a solo to the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song and tunes from “Tangled” in the background.

“[Tonight’s theme] is fun because you get a chance to see that a lot of people have things that they are wicked good at,” Van Alstyne said. “Kind of like hidden talents.”

Schleusener said the group is in-tune with playing their ukuleles together. However, this night left a lot of room for variety, which was a fun experience. She said there was less singing because it was hard for everyone to sing along while playing different tunes.

“When everyone gets in the zone, there is a sense of flow,” senior Vice President Jonas Kulzer said.

Schleusener said she made friends in the Ukulele Club that she would have never had before. A variety of students from different majors come to experience what the club has to offer.

“It is exactly how I want to spend my time because it is so relaxed and not too much of a commitment,” Schleusener said. “It is like therapy.”

The club encourages all students to join, and they plan to host more themed nights in the future.

“If someone comes in for the first time, [and they only] know a few chords, they still have something to contribute,” freshman Rachel Johnson said. “Everyone gets to participate.”

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