Stillwater Style Winter 2018 - Page 20

The Stillwater Ukulele Association started as a small group that met at the Stillwater Community Center. Ukulele movement not slowing down BY TIMOTHY COLE | STILLWATER STYLE PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CHARLES/STILLWATER NEWS PRESS U sually what comes to mind when ukulele music starts playing are scenes from an island lifestyle. Palm trees and luaus, Hawaiian leis and hula skirts, and of course the famous rendition of “Over the rainbow.” For Stillwater resident Kami Koontz the ukulele brings to mind scenes of home, friendships and views to the future. “The ukulele came to me at a very good time in my life because I needed something that was uplifting, I needed a hobby.” Koontz has been playing the ukulele after picking it up and teaching herself to play one five years ago and after realizing the benefits the instrument had for her, she decided to start the Stillwater Ukulele Association. 20 Stillwater Style | WINTER 2018 “I just started having so much fun and I thought, surely I’m not the only person in Stillwater having this much fun. That was kind of the selfish part, me needing more people to play with,” Koontz said. The Stillwater Ukulele Association has seen tremendous growth in its four-year history that has included the formation of a couple bands that play around Stillwater and the surrounding area. The SUA meets the first and third Tuesday of every month and always loves seeing new and old faces. Charissa Lee Prchal has been playing with Koontz at the SUA as well as being a member of a band that formed from members of the group, Misspent Ukes. Prchal talks about the ease of the instrument and the inviting nature of members of the SUA. “It’s fun and silly, and nobody expects anybody