Ukulele player generic photo

The Burke Arts Council and the Foothills Hummin’ and Strummin’ group will sponsor their first ukulele jam session from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday.

People who like to play the ukulele are invited to join a fun new group.

The Burke Arts Council and the Foothills Hummin’ and Strummin’ group will sponsor their first ukulele jam session from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the arts council facility at 115 E. Meeting St., Morganton.

“Ukulele groups have become quite popular throughout the country in recent years,” said Debra Batman, who is helping to organize the sessions. “Two friends, one in Boston and another in the Myrtle Beach area, have been talking with me about the fun they have had in their groups.”

The session is free, and all skill levels are welcome. Christmas music suitable for beginners will be performed. Those interested in participating should visit http://bit.ly/2r0I3sV to register and receive the selected music in advance.

The sessions will continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at the same time and place.

“The Morganton Jam is intended to appeal to ukulele and music lovers at all levels, from the experienced musician to beginners,” Batman said. “It is not a class technically, but a place where we can support each other through song and our strumming, and most importantly, to have fun. Our aim is to be flexible and responsive to participants. We all have music we love and want to share. Each month, a leader will be invited or one will volunteer to select the music we will play.”

People can come just to hear the music, but Batman warned they will be invited to participate even if they don’t have a ukulele.

“The Morganton Jam Sessions are not a concert or a performance,” she said. “Participants can join in at any level. Some songs will even have a kazoo portion. Of course, people can come to check us out, particularly if interested in the ukulele. We hope they get inspired.”

The Burke Arts Council has opportunities for people who would like to improve their ukulele playing.

“For those folks who want a more focused learning environment, there are classes offered through the Burke Arts Council, and our original class, which has met for a year and continues to meet at Food Matters,” Batman said. “Both classes are taught by Marny Pritchard, who has got the Foothills ‘Hummin’ and Strummin’’ with her enthusiasm and skill as a teacher. Class attendees are encouraged to attend The Morganton Jam Sessions right away.”

She encouraged people to come to the jam sessions to share their talents.

“You can’t help but smile and have fun with a ukulele,” Batman said. “The ukulele is a fun and enjoyable way to have music in your life. Come and join in the journey and be part of getting the Foothills Hummin’ and Strummin’!”

For information, call the council at 828-433-7282.

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