Hi, I'm Anita. I enjoy needlework, reading, and of course music as a few of my hobbies. I started out playing clarinet in the school band, later took some piano lessons, and found my niche in high school choir. I tend to collect musical instruments, can't play any of them very well, but I discovered ukelele in one of Gary Jugert's classes and just love it. It's way more fun than guitar and a whole lot easier! I have two handsome sons, an adorable grandson, a very tolerant husband and three wayward Australian Shephards. I'm a teacher of Adult ESL.
I have four children and two grandchildren. I also have two English Bulldogs, a male and a female. My hobbies are genealogy, growing orchids, traveling, jigsaw puzzles, and now the ukulele. I also like to read, gamble and entertain.
After retiring in March of 2013 as a technical instructor, I decided to participate in the orchestra because my wife Debbie was involved. I started with the baritone ukulele with no prior musical training and after 2 months, I was exposed to the bass ukulele and switched. Originally I joined to participate with Debbie and found out it was a lot of fun and that I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so I am taking bass lessons on a regular basis.
I started playing drums in the school band in 5th grade and continued through high school graduation. I also played piano, alto clarinet and dabbled with the guitar, singing and playing folk music with friends. After retiring as a high school math teacher, I bought my first ukulele at the Aloha Stadium flea market on Oahu. I found the happy sound addicting, and love playing and creating music with others. I am a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra.
A mental challenge is what I needed after retiring from a successful 30+year career. Learning, playing, and performing music helps keep the mind and body thriving. The ukulele is a great instrument that lends itself to all styles of music. My association with such an eclectic group like RMUO is a pleasure. Besides ukulele, I enjoy traveling, movies, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, skiing, and golf.
My name is Eric. While I swim, bike, and run every week I am not a triathlete. What I am is a 27 year old, ukulele playing, runner. I pay my bills working as an electrical engineer. I'm relatively new to the uke, but we are already old friends.
I found my way to Colorado after experiencing a number of different cultures. While living on Gran Canaria, Spain, I was introduced to the timple, a four-string instrument much like the ukulele. It was always my dream to learn to play it beyond the three or four chords, which is now happening through the RMUO. Having retired from school administration, I now have the time to pursue my dreams. It is my hope that besides Justus, the youngest member of the orchestra, more of my grandchildren will take up the ukulele.
Self-Appointed Chief Sarcasm Officer for RMUO. Hobbies include annoying people (occasionally with her uke) and brewing coffee with coffee. Stunt doubles on the weekend. Naturally and artificially flavored. Do not store near fire, flame, or sparks.
Jana is originally from Massachusetts, and during her formative years, was taught the flageolet by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. It was not a successful endeavor, and in 2008 she picked up the didgeridoo - again a failure. Realizing that wind instruments were not her forte, she saw an announcement for a introduction to the ukulele, took the class, and voila! – the rest is history.
Jana reads, gardens, writes, watches movies, is interested in the paranormal, and bows to every wish of her cat, Fernando.
I'm is a retired IT guy and Navy veteran. I don't have a musical background,
but became inspired to learn when I attended the 2012 Denver Ukulele Fest.
The ukulele is such a fun instrument and easy to take almost anywhere! It
fits nicely into the overhead compartment on airplanes. I enjoy the great
outdoors of Colorado by hiking, ATV riding, biking, snowshoeing, and cross
country skiing. I'm enjoying participation in the RMUO and ukulele jam
sessions. By playing with groups I'm learning much faster than I expected
when I first started.
Jim Vênis' formal background includes piano, trumpet, and music theory. Performing with a dance band gave him his appreciation for big-band music and jazz, but he describes his interests as "very broad: from classical to country, from opera to rock-n-roll." A few of his current favorite influences include Buddy Holly, Michael Hedges, Lyle Lovett, Leo Kottke, Norton Buffalo, Natalie Merchant, and Miles Davis. Jim discovered the ukulele in Hawaii in 2003. In 2004, he became the founding leader of the Denver Ukulele Community. That group, which meets monthly at Swallow Hill, is still going strong, and it is still a center of influence for all things ukulele in the Denver area. Jim is a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Ukulele orchestra, in which he usually plays tenor or baritone ukulele. He also writes and arranges music for us.
I'm a newbie to the Orchestra and having a wonderful time playing in it. I grew up playing guitar, but haven't touched anything for about 15 years until I got hooked on the uke earlier this year...it goes everywhere with me! When I'm not playing, I study German at Metro, and volunteer with the school and botany programs down at South Platte Park. I retired from an IT job several years ago. Oh yeah...I hike and snowshoe and love to ride my bike around Denver, or up on the trails around Frisco and Copper, too. My husband of 38 years is a high school German teacher, and we tend to end up there in July.
Hi, I'm Katie. I have a degree in Music from Knox College (Galesburg, IL) with voice being my predominant instrument. Although I'm not currently pursuing a career in music, it will always be an enjoyable pastime for me and I'm glad to have a new musical outlet. I wanted to learn the ukulele so I could have something to play to accompany my singing, and found the ukulele to be more approachable than a guitar and smaller than a piano. Now, in RMUO, I'm having fun learning to make my ukulele sing all on its own.
Retired from Auraria Campus Library ~ Genealogy student and volunteer photographer for website “Find A Grave” ~ Introduced to 4-chord ukulele songs at Centre College Ky during annual Spring Sing event “many long years ago” ~ Reintroduced Feb. 2012 via classes at Lakewood Cultural Center ~ Interested in putting together a personal family history web site that incorporates appropriate ukulele music.
I am a teacher, writer and author of two books. I am working on a third one. After graduating college I moved across the country to teach in the desolate West Texas town of Odessa. After moving to Colorado I became a textbook rep and traveled three states for the next thirty years. Twenty years ago, Carol, my only daughter succumbed to leukemia after a seven month battle. She was in grad school and suggested we learn to play the mandolin in a bone marrow unit. Afterward, my mandolin went everywhere my books did and kept my spirit alive. I played in the Denver Mandolin Orchestra for twelve years. For the past ten years I have taught Reading to college students at a local community college. After my husband died last year, I put my courage in my hip pocket and bought a ukulele and joined our ukulele orchestra. I love to sing and play with all of you. The group brings me joy. I live with Jake, my dog.
Photo coming soon! What an amazing instrument... with a little bit of practice and patience you can play any genre of music. My favorites are bluegrass (Blue Ridge Cabin Home, Rocky Road Blues, Rocky Top, etc.) and gospel (Amazing Grace and Will the Circle be Unbroken, etc.) You’ll also find me playing and singing Johnny Cash and Jimmy Martin songs as well as Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, and Bob Dylan songs. Playing music is one of my favorite past times… so pick up a ukulele and give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how many songs you can play within an hour or two of picking up the ukulele.
I played piano (badly) as a child of 7. Played French Horn in Jr. High (badly, though my mother recently said, "Mr. Crooks - the band teacher - was so disappointed when you gave up the French Horn." I said, "No Mom, he was relieved!"). I picked up the guitar by watching PBS as a teenager, and never got past the easy chords, but still play it on occasion in my storytelling gigs. My friend, Kari Pokorny, also in the Orchestra, tried for a year, and finally got me to join in the Fall of 2013. All I can say is, the uke is more fun, and doesn't hurt my fingers as much as the guitar! I work in public media during the day. My hobbies outside of the uke, are storytelling, singing, and writing.
Tina G. is a hammered dulcimer teacher and performer having first heard a hammered dulcimer in 1986 while living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Since moving to the Denver area in 1990, Tina has become a full time hammered dulcimer musician; performing solo and in small combos with fiddle, guitar or piano, and in several local contra dance bands. Along with her busy performance schedule, she teaches students on the dulcimer and bodhran. She has also started teaching herself how the play the ukulele and the bass ukulele.
She has taught hammered dulcimer at several festivals including Dulcimer Festival in Fort Collins, CO, Irish week at Augusta in Elkins, WV, the California Traditional Music Society Annual Summer Solstice Festival, Buckeye Dulcimer festival, Winterfest in Irving, TX, the Sawdust Festival in Bennington, OK, and was a jam session leader and teacher at the Southwest Dulcimer Festival in Dewey, AZ and also the Albuquerque, NM Dulcimer festival.
Over the years, Tina has won many local and regional competitions and in the year 2000 she won the U.S. National Hammered Dulcimer Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS
Around 2007 Tina bought her first Ukulele, started teaching herself how to play and went to several local uke/song jams. Late 2010 she bought herself a U-bass and began teaching herself how to play bass has a lot of fun practicing the bass at the uke/song and is playing the U-bass in a couple of groups.
Sometime around 1976, I dropped out of elementary school band because I didn't want to carry my trumpet to junior high school. Mom was mad at me for 30 years because of that stunt. I think she's forgiven me now that she's been to an RMUO performance. For one semester in college, I tried playing classical guitar. Again, quit. Another bad idea. In 1998 we rebuilt the family heirloom plant stand, also known as our vintage birdcage piano, and I began taking lessons. I was lucky to study with Julii Dunsmore. Turns out 88 keys and ten fingers is a pretty cool thing to bring together. In 2003, I found a ukulele in a local antique store and I paid $35 for it. At the time I remember turning to YouTube to learn how to play it. There were only 83 videos total tagged "ukulele." I was pretty sure I was the only person in Colorado playing our little instrument. In the years since then, the ukulele has exploded in popularity, changes the world daily, and gave me the opportunity to become a composer and teach a little music myself. I've been personally assisted on my road to ukuleleism by the amazing James Hill, Aaron Keim, and every single ukulele festival ever held in Denver. I was lucky to be included as an auditor at the 2013 International Conducting Institute at Denver University taught by Lawrence Golan, David Effron, and Bahman Saless. Along with the others on this page, I help create and re-create this orchestra every week.