The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Ukulele Club: the happiest club on campus

Photo: Karina Menezes Cunha

It is hard not to be familiar with the Ukulele Club after their heartwarming performance at the campus talent show and reprise at Relay for Life. After performing “Butterfly Nets” by Bishop Allen at the talent show and winning third place, the small club became a household name on campus.

The quirky club was started at the beginning of last year by sophomore Phoebe Armstrong, who was a first year at the time. Since then, the club has grown quite a bit. “I never imagined that the Ukulele Club would actually be a thing,” Armstrong said. “But now it is, and now we’re going to spread joy across Chatham’s campus.”

When asked how many members the club had, Armstrong said that she counts anyone who comes to a single meeting as a member, so she does not have a definitive number of members.

The number of members has certainly jumped since their performance. Maggie McGovney, a first year and a new member, agreed that she joined because of how impressed she was with the talent show performance.

“I’ve tried a lot of instruments before in my life. I’ve played flute, I’ve played clarinet, I’ve played saxophone—lots of percussion—but I’ve never really liked another instrument as much as I like the ukulele,” McGovney said. “I’ve thought about learning the guitar before, but it was kind of intimidating. The ukulele is like a mini guitar. It’s all the wonderful without the scary.”

The contrary is true for long-time member and fellow first-year Jess Turner. “I played guitar, so ukulele came pretty easy,” she said. On preparing for the talent show, Turner said, “We only decided on a song two weeks before, so we had a week to learn it ourselves, and we had two practices to play it with the group.”

Most of the club’s meetings are focused on practicing songs as a group. Armstrong chooses the songs from a site called and runs them by the club before making a decision.

Members practice outside of the meetings and then work together on timing and cohesion when they meet. Currently the club meets on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. in The Carriage House Lounge.

Next semester Armstrong will be studying abroad, but Paul Torres, a graduate student in the club said, “Even though the club’s president is studying abroad in Belgium next semester, the rest of us will do our best to keep the club fun and thriving.”

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