Their motto is "more fun than talent." But a group of ukulele players have a special talent, and that is bringing cheer to those who hear them.
The Ukuladies of Seward County group started with a continuing education flier in the mail from Southeast Community College. "There were classes for ukulele playing in Dorchester, so I called my friend Mary and asked her if she'd be interested in taking the class," Ukulady Mona Luth said. Turns out, Mary was interested. "She called her other friend, and it ended up that four of us took the class." Ukulady Mary Phillips says the members just kept playing and practicing. "We tried to get together every week to add on to what we were doing, and then we decided we would go to the nursing home and keep playing the songs we were learning," Phillips said.
For some, taking up the ukulele was an exciting challenge. "I had just retired, and I thought well, I'm going to do something in my retirement that is a little out of my comfort zone," Ukulady Jeannette Adamek said. "It took me out of my comfort zone, but it's been such a pleasure and I'm just loving it."
There are a total of seven ladies in the group, and they play different types of ukuleles. "I have a tenor ukulele, and then there's a soprano and a concert ukulele," Ukulady Mary Fiala said. "They all have a different sound. We just recently had a bass ukulele join us."
"It's a fun instrument," Adamek said. "When you hear the ukulele, it just makes you happy, it makes you smile." The Ukuladies of Seward County have been everywhere from retirement parties to senior centers, and they say the real joy is making people smile. "If we see people having fun and dancing and singing in their chairs, we kind of start getting a little bit louder and start moving a little bit more, too," Ukulady Veronica Gabel said.
You might think the ladies just do Hawaiian music. Not so. "I'm here to tell you there's not a song that you can't find ukulele chords to," Fiala said. "We play anything from '70's rock and roll, to country western, to gospel music. We even play some polka music."
At a recent performance, the ladies were part of an auction to support the Dwight Assumption Catholic Church. For Ukulady Mary Fiala. being a part of the auction was meaningful. "This parish is very close to my heart, it's where I grew up," she said.
While the Ukuladies of Seward County can take pride in knowing they helped the Assumption church, the event also gave them a chance to show what they can bring to any party. "This is totally a group effort, and if we don't think we are sounding very good, we just play louder," Gabel said.
For more information, you can check out the Ukuladies of Seward County on Facebook.