Aug 8 2012 by Linda Foo Guest, Heswall News
A MUSICAL ensemble of ukulele enthusiasts have been nominated for a Your Champions award.
A worthy nominee put forward for the team champions category is the Wirral Ukulele Orchestra.
After forming just 18 months ago, the group has grown not just in numbers, but also the work they do for charity and in the community.
Members of all abilities are accepted, including beginners.
The group of 30 members, aged from 19 to 80, regularly do gigs for charity, and each week members hold classes to the public and teach them how to play.
So far they have raised around £3,000 for the likes of MIND and Claire House. They also support charitable events with their chirpy music too.
Pat Ross joined the Orchestra just over a year ago as a learner and ssaid couldn’t string a note.
She said: “We are a diverse group of people of all ages and different abilities including learners.
“We meet up and practise together every week.
“We get invited to do many gigs for charity throughout the year. Our dress code is Hawaiian shirts.
“The audience enjoy it and we have so much fun.
“Within only a few months of forming we were invited to play at the Festival of Firsts and raised over a thousand pounds for Claire House.
“We were invited back again this year and everyone in the audience said how happy we were and smiling. One lady who saw us both times commented on how much we had improved and a joy to watch.”
In May members organised a charity pub crawl of performing in 10 pubs in one day, and changing venues every half an hour. They raised £1,200 for Claire House.
The Orchestra play a wide repertoire of music, including the obligatory George Formby songs.
Pat added: “We have become very popular during the short time of forming and grown bigger than anticipated. We have come on leaps and bounds.”
Wirral Ukulele Orchestra meet every Monday at the Vanilla Lounge, in Hoylake, from 7.30pm.
Classes to the public are held at the same venue once a month, with additional weekly lessons led by a member due to popular demand.