Stillwater Style Winter 2018 - Page 21

to be a virtuoso on it. You take it out to sing with friends not to show off. It’s a togetherness instrument,” said Prchal “Folks who’ve been playing for a long time will help out the newbie, without being impatient or irritated. Everyone wants everyone to learn and have fun. If you always wished you could play an instrument, it really is an ideal place to start.” When asked what brought her attention to the ukulele and the desire to play it, Prchal lays all the blame at Koontz’s feet. “I blame Kami Koontz completely for bringing the accessible, friendly music to this town and dragging me into it.” The Stillwater Ukulele Association knows how to have fun but also sees a great need in the community and has played a vital role in the revitalization and growth of music education in over 20 area schools. “I taught myself to play and when I was learning I thought this is a very accessible instrument,” said Koontz “it’s not expensive and it makes sense to me and it’s just the right size for kids.” Started in 2015, Koontz has made it a priority to take the fun and accessibility of the ukulele and invest in the Stillwater and surrounding area communities by giving back and providing ukuleles to students as well as community members of all ages. Take and Play ukuleles can be found throughout Stillwater at businesses such as Aspen Coffee at Fountain Square and the Stillwater Public Library, which are free for anyone who is willing to learn and has a want to play. Kami Koontz is the founder of the Stillwater Ukulele Association. She is shown performing at Will Rogers Elementary School when the group donated one of its first sets of ukuleles to be used by the students. Stillwater Regional Airport Stillwater Style | WINTER 2018 21