I moved to Colorado from NYC in 1971. In 2012, I retired after 38 years as a wholesale warehouse manager. As most retirees, I wanted to try something new and I had never played any instrument. I took Gary's class in 2013 and have been enjoying the ukulele ever since. I love the people in the orchestra, the energy, the challenge of playing with a group and of performing. I have been married to my wife, Gloria, for 44 years. We have a son in Boulder who is married and has a 2 and 1/2 year old daughter.My other interests are fly fishing, gardening, hiking, biking, woodworking, and art. Come join us to play along or to see one of our concerts.
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.
I sang in a Denver community chorus for 19 years. It morphed from a German men’s chorus (one of the directors noted that not all German songs need to be sung forte) to two choruses - men’s and women’s singing joint concerts to one fully combined group. After I retired in 1997 I studied classical guitar for 5 years. In the fall of 2013, a CSU professor from the College of Natural Sciences recommended the ukulele as an instrument of choice. I saw an announcement for a class in Lakewood in the spring of 2014, went ahead and took it, and here am, enjoying every moment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.