Langley summer camp introduces kids to ukuleles

The Langley Ukulele Ensemble has been around for more than three decades.

The members of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble perform charity shows, go in various parades and many even go play in the land of the uke – Hawaii.

The summer camp introduces kids ages eight to 11 to the instrument and the ensemble.

But they all had to start somewhere and that’s where the annual camp comes in.

“There is a long standing tradition of Ukulele being at the forefront of our elementary school music programs here in Langley,” said Elizabeth Zielke, the camp coordinator and an ensemble director the the A and B groups. “What Langley unique is an after school music program that for 30 years has proven to be sustainable in training up young musicians for high acclaim in the ukulele world.”

The ensemble has four honour groups offered this fall. While intense, they are fun and offer kids a chance to perform, entertain, public speak, sing, play ukulele will kids their own age.

Those who stick with the ensemble and work hard can end up being part of the group that goes to Hawaii.

The Senior A just came back from Hawaii where they performed three to five times daily.

“Words cannot express how that high-energy trip leaves you feeling,” Zielke said. “The adrenaline of the shows is unmatched…. There is a genuine sense of respect from the locals as they teach the students to sing and dance in a way that honours their culture.”

The camp runs Aug. 17 to 21 with a wrap up performance on the Friday evening.

“Open to all beginners and early level players, Uke Camp is the best way to get involved with our honour groups,” she noted.

The top candidates from uke camp will be offered a spot in our after school honour program running from September to May.

At Uke Camp the kids are taught the basics of the instrument in all components including theory, singing, picking and strumming.

“The camp is geared for beginners with up to 1 yr experience,” she said.

The camps are taught by Langley School District teachers and Langley Ukulele Association directors.

“Campers are in for a high-energy week, working towards showing off their skills at the end of the week to friends and families at the Friday night concert. The top students from camp will be offered a place in our after school program,” she added.

The camps take place at Belmont Elementary, 20390 40th Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon and cost $75. Registration includes the instruction, a snack, a camp T-shirt and music booklet to keep as well as the wrap up concert Aug. 21. There’s room for up to 80 participants.

There are ukuleles available for rent and purchase during camp, so no need to previously own an instrument, Ziekle noted.

To register, email ukesinfo@langleyukes.com or call 778-840-8537.

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