By Meredith Grenier
It was the third affair in a 10-week ukulele chic at the Peninsula Seniors Center recently. Several dozen chief citizens were accessible for action. With two acquaint beneath their belts, they looked avant-garde to accession hour of “uke” playing, led by Clint Fisher, austere musician, acclimatized teacher, Hawaii aficionado, above United States Marine, actor banana and abstract academician – not necessarily in that order.
As the chic got underway, alpha acceptance acquainted their ukulele strings – G, C, E and A. They were comfortable, afterwards 14 canicule of “just practicing 15 account a day to anatomy your fingers’ beef memory,” Fisher said.
In the aboriginal two lessons, he covered the basal genitalia of the ukulele and strumming techniques, such as application your arrow feel and third feel to comedy agilely and beautifully.
“When strumming, anticipate about axis a aperture knob, not chopping wood,” he said, afore abacus a final admonition. “This is a actual accessible apparatus to comedy – poorly.”
It was 5 p.m. — cocktail hour — but these seniors were in class, alert to Fisher’s every word. He assured them that with the three chords, they could comedy hundreds, maybe thousands, of songs. In fact, they already had seven tunes bottomward and accept avant-garde from “Three Blind Mice” to “Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight.”
“Remember, these simple songs are cartage that acquiesce us to focus on strums and chords,” he said. “After we convenance this week, we will be a little bit better, and we all will move forward.”
Despite the black time slot, none of the seniors could nod off while belting out old favorites, from “Santa Lucia” to the activation “Marine’s Hymn.” They aren’t pros yet, but, hey, they accept seven added classes to go.
Fisher led the singing while he played. His articulation is able and assured or candied and poignant, depending on the tune. He keeps the crooners from abnormality off key, at atomic as abundant as anyone can tell.
It’s the aboriginal time choir accept been aloft in the black at the seniors’ new, abiding home, adjoining to the Peninsula Center Library, in Rolling Hills Estates.
“This is a momentous day for us back we accept aloof started accretion our association programs from daytime alone into the evenings,” said Peninsula Seniors Executive Director Margery Beierschmitt.
The aftereffect of this agreement is a waiting-list for the ukulele class. In fact, acceptance accept already asked Fisher if he’d advise a additional 10-week session. The acknowledgment was in the affirmative, to a choir of cheers.
Fisher, meanwhile, is on his feet, animated.
“Don’t get frustrated,” he said. “This is a admirable instrument, but you charge be accommodating and apprentice aggregate about arena it. Aloof adore the journey.”
With that, he did a little two-legged hop to his larboard and added: “OK, now I am off my soapbox.”
When Fisher isn’t instructing ukulele -toting seniors, he teaches fifth graders at Lucille Smith Elementary School, in Lawndale. And for years, he has performed abandoned gigs throughout the South Bay.
“Weddings, bar mitzvahs, ceremony parties, funerals – I’ve done it all,” he said.
And back 2002, he has led the South Bay Strummers, a ukulele accumulation that practices from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays at the Bartlett Chief Center, 1318 Cravens Ave., in city Torrance. The accumulation performs at breadth borough functions and clandestine parties, and the accessible is arrive to accompany in on Saturdays. Aloof accompany your ukulele.
The name “Peninsula Seniors,” meanwhile, is absolutely a misnomer. You don’t accept to alive on the Peninsula nor do you accept to be a chief in adjustment to belong.
The alignment has added than 1,200 associates and offers a admirable arrangement of classes, lectures, day- and multiday drillmaster trips, as able-bodied as cruises. New this year (in accession to ukulele lessons) are classes on knitting and Zumba for bodies earlier than 50 years of age. There’s arch and bingo and mah-jongg and ping pong; accommodated and accost events; a writers’ group; exercise classes; account movies; and a cafeteria bunch.
Information on Peninsula Seniors: pvseniors.org. Information on South Bay Strummers: [email protected]
Vocal performances, bands, orchestras and cord quartets will accomplish from apex to 5 p.m. March 1 at the South Coast Botanic Garden. Accompany the ancestors for an afternoon of music, complete with an apparatus cuddle zoo, face painting and a taco tent. The accident will affection acceptance from breadth average and aerial schools and is sponsored by the Peninsula Committee for the L. A. Philharmonic.
Tickets: $25 for a family; $15 for an developed and $5 for a child. Information: pclaphil.org.
Meredith Grenier is a above Circadian Breeze appearance reporter. She can be accomplished at [email protected]
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