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Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday To (Us)!

Why does one start a band? The Yesterukes (un-named at that point) started because we knew a dozen songs and we all owned a music stand. Surely groups have started for lesser reasons than that. Maybe.

Exactly two years ago today, the teacher of a beginning ukulele class and the five adults who completed the 8-week course, played a few songs for a group of residents at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center (which hosted the class.) That was so much fun and so well received that we thought we would do it just one more time.

Then players began to invite friends to join us. "She would really enjoy this." "It would be so good for him to do this." "Oh, he sings so well, it would help the group." And on and on it went. Then strangers began to find us. "Can I just visit one practice to see what you do?" (He stayed with us.) "I used to play with a group in Ohio and I'd like to visit your group." (She stayed with us.) "I heard about this group and it took a while, but I found you!" (He's still with us.) There are other stories just like these.

And so it went until our tiny group of six became a band of 17--with a name, a logo, matching shirts, a CD, and more fun than we could have ever imagined. We have played for thousands. It's been the perfect musical venture, providing as much enjoyment and delight for those playing as for those listening.

So Happy Birthday, Yesterukes! Get out those ukuleles and sing Happy Birthday to yourselves.

Happy Birthday To You, by Preston Ware & Mrs. R. R. Forman, 1935

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