15After the stresses and busyness brought on by the week, leader of the Fayetteville Ukulele Club Mary

Hill said she and her group members find relief as they strum their ukuleles, an instrument Hill calls “cheerful.”

“This is a time when we just sit down and nothing else matters, we just play the music, we just sing and all of the stresses melt away,” Hill said.

Now members of the club and the community can learn more about this musical form of stress relief in an upcoming workshop hosted by ukulele player David Remiger, also known as Ukester Brown. The Ukester Brown Workshop will be held at The Sweet Palette in downtown Fayetteville on Sept. 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The main focus of the workshop will be learning more about efficient chord building and how players can make the transitions between chords easier.
Registration for the event will cost $10, with ukuleles available to rent for $5. The workshop will also feature door prizes and a raffle for a ukulele. Sweet treats will also be available at The Sweet Palette, Hill said.

“Of course there’s cupcakes, because the Sweet Palette has the best cupcakes in town,” Hill said.

Following the workshop, Ukester Brown will hold a small concert followed by a jam session, free to all those in the Sweet Palette. Hill, a mostly self-taught ukulele player herself, also considers herself a self taught leader, forming the group, which will celebrated it’s third anniversary on Sept. 17, out of
her own desire to play with others.

“When you play with other people, you get better, you learn because people have different styles and I wanted that so bad so I just decided, evidently no one else was going to do it, so I should do it,” Hill said.

The club’s first meeting exceeded Hill’s expectations, with eight people showing up to participate. The group continued to grow and meetings continued through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic via Zoom. The group meets each Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to play together at The Sweet Palette.

The music helped bring participants together, helping to fill the hole left behind by the pandemic, Hill said, allowing them to share music together.
According to Hill, many group members were strangers prior to meeting through the club. As they joined they also bonded through their love of making music.

“These people did not know each other,” Hill said. “They come together and play every week and they're friends. So I put these people together and they became friends so I think that's really cool.”

The Ukulele remains an attractive instrument for many, Hill said, for its portable size, and for how easy it is to learn. Despite its accessibility, Hill emphasized that the ukulele is not an instrument to overlook.

“I don’t want to discount it by saying it’s easy to learn and things like that,” Hill said. “It is easy to learn and to get to a certain level, but you can play complicated pieces on it as well and it can hang in there with guitars and things like that. It can definitely be whatever you want it to be.”

Those registering for the Ukester Brown Workshop can send an email to 1happyukulele@gmail.com, noting if they need to rent a ukulele. Bring the family, bring chairs, and relax to some great music.

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