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Ukulele fans unite
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A veterinarian, a chiropractor, a judge and salesman all came together for breakfast in Indiana.

It may sound like the beginning of the perfect joke, but it's actually reality when people with an affinity for the ukulele come together.

Susie Lyday started playing the ukulele in 2009 and just returned from a "ukulele gathering" in Indiana where she said people from all walks of life and all ages enjoyed playing and sharing their musical adventures via the ukulele.

Now Lyday is helping bring that same kind of opportunity to Dawsonville.

The Dawson County Library will host its first ever ukulele gathering this weekend.

It is an all ages, all-experience-level, free event that will run from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 11.

This first get together will be two hours as the group will have to make some decisions about what the regular meetings will be like and how often they will occur.

"I was instrumental in starting a group in Atlanta," Lyday said.

The Atlanta group now has over 400 members and a regular gathering of 30-50 at any given meeting.

When she moved to Dawsonville, she decided starting a new group locally would be better than traveling.

She has reached out to people from groups in Gainesville and Dahlonega and a couple of members of the Atlanta group may come up for the first meeting or two in Dawsonville.

Participants who attend the free event are only asked to bring a passion to learn.

The library has eight ukuleles on hand for people to borrow, but people are encouraged to bring their own.

"We will need support from the community," Lyday said. "We will need donated ukuleles. I have reached out to vendors."

Lyday said the plan is to develop a facebook group for this new gathering, generate ideas like possibly performing at local open mike events and at senior centers and, of course, learning songs.

"We will go over the first three chords and by the time they leave they will be playing a song," she said about the first meeting.

Ultimately she would like to see the Dawsonville group meet twice a month and venture out to schools and community functions.

"It is not a club, just a group of people with a common interest," she said.

The Atlanta group eventually branched out into several offshoots including one that meets at a Hawaiian barbecue restaurant on the first and third Sunday of every month.

"There are workshops and gatherings all around the U.S.," Lyday said.

She called ukulele music "happy music" and, according to Lyday, every genre of music possible can be played on a ukulele.

To get more information or to sign up for the first gathering, contact the library at (706) 344-3690. The library is at 342 Allen St. in Dawsonville.

 

 

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