Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra members Liz De Barros

Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra members Liz De Barros

Concert gives gift of music

The Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra will be hosting A Ukulele for Christmas at Bowen Park on Sunday.

The sounds of the ukulele will deck the halls at one central Nanaimo location this weekend.

On Sunday (Dec. 14) the Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra will be hosting A Ukulele for Christmas at the Bowen Park activity centre.

The event is a ‘three-in-one’ ukulele celebration that includes a concert, holiday singalong and fundraiser for the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.

“A Ukulele for Christmas is designed to put musical instruments in the hands of children whose families cannot afford such luxuries,”said Anna Lyman, director of the Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra. “We’re going to take up a collection of whatever funds people have in their pockets.”

Money raised from the event will be used to purchase ukuleles, which will then be donated to the toy drive.

“Our goal is to put ukuleles in the hands of children,” Lyman said. “We want to be able to give instruments to children who wouldn’t normally get them.”

The Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra is a newly formed group made up of more than a dozen members from Nanaimo and Parksville. Sunday’s concert will be the band’s first-ever public performance.

“We are pretty excited,” Lyman said.

The concert portion of the event will feature a mix of music.

“We have four seasonal tunes and then we have some Latin tunes as well,” Lyman said. “It’s going to be the unveiling of what people have been working on for months.”

Since a wide range of popular music isn’t written for the ukulele, Lyman is often forced to arrange the music herself.

“I can’t just buy music for this. I have to arrange all the music,” she said. “So from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker I took the song The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and I arranged that for ukulele.”

Sunday’s concert starts at noon. For more information, please visit www.ukecircle.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod