The off-key strumming of 30 brand new ukuleles filled the music room at Oakland Terrace School in Panama City, Florida, after the Bay Arts Alliance paid a visit to the district’s performing-arts elementary school.
Bay Arts Alliance—with the help of Leitz Music—ordered 30 multicolored Amahi ukes to supply the school’s new ukulele orchestra as a part of their Arts in Education program. “You can do just about anything with a ukulele that you can do with a guitar,” Jennifer Jones, executive director of the Alliance told the Panama City News-Herald.
Sure enough, Jones plugged in to electrify her concert ukulele, while Ronald Merritt of the Ukulele Orchestra of St. Andrews tuned his bass ukulele to show fourth- and fifth-grade students how it’s done. The pair then performed a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” Some of the students sang along, while others waited patiently for their turn at strumming their new ukes.
According to the News-Herald, the school’s ukulele class received the donation after the students were invited to play along with the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra from New Zealand when they were scheduled to perform locally on January 20.