Check out the smiles of our students and Instructor Mike Kligerman, having fun at The Boys and Girls Club Ukulele Class, held Wednesday afternoons after school. What a joy to watch the kids learn and grow!
It’s been a busy few weeks here at BCMC, and we’ve been busy with all of our programs. Due to the interest that some of the younger kids had in our Berkeley Springs Guitar Club at the Boys and Girls Club, we decided to begin a weekly ukulele club geared to their age group. This past Monday, December 4th, was our first club meeting. We brought ten ukuleles with us, and all ten were used! Some kids did end up getting picked up by their parents or had to go do other things while the club was happening, but we still had a lot of fun.
The ten ukuleles that were given to the Boys and Girls club are from the Mahalo Rainbow Series in the color purple. Pictures just do not do these ukes justice. Not only are they a gorgeous hue, but they play nicely too! The kids had a great time learning from Mike Kligerman of the Tri-State Ukeclectics Orchestra, with a little help from the executive director of BCMC, Janet Gauthier. We can’t wait to head back next week! Aren’t they just the cutest? We do what we do because of smiles like this little girls’.
This program would not be possible without funding from the generous grant we received earlier in the year from The Tom and Virginia Seely Foundation and the assistance of the Boys and Girls Club Berkeley Springs branch director, Chris Risinger. A huge thank you to them for letting us bring music to these deserving kids!
November 1st was the start of our guitar club at the Boys and Girls Club in Berkeley Springs. A lot of preparation went into making sure this program would be a success from the get-go. Before we could get this club off the ground, we needed to approach the Boys and Girls Club about starting the program, find funding for the project, and search for a talented instructor.
We approached Chris Risinger, director of the B & G Club – Berkeley Springs branch – with our vision for the program. After some planning and logistics, we were ready to find funding and an instructor. A local guitar player and youth group leader in Berkeley Springs, Jason Hiles, expressed interest in teaching the lessons. With Jason on board, finding money was the next step. We applied for and received a grant from a generous donor through the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. This grant completely covered the costs to run the program for its first year, including the guitars and all the accessories: gig bags, tuners, straps and books. Our thanks go out to the family foundation who so generously funded this program.
Pictured above are the absolutely beautiful Cort brand guitars we purchased for the kids. They sound as good as they look! If the kids who signed up for the program stick with it, these guitars are theirs to keep after the school year is over. We are very excited to see how these kids improve over the course of the year, not only with their guitar playing skills, but also with their overall self-esteem and school performance. Stay tuned!