Library brings in the island sound

Visit the Hugh Embry Branch Library on a Tuesday morning, and close your eyes and listen to the sweet strumming sounds coming from the weekly Ukulele jam. It would be easy to picture yourself at a beach luau in Hawaii. Karen and Peter Sears lead the program, after falling in love with the ukulele two years ago. They credit the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society, YouTube instructional videos, the Zephyrhills-based Hunter’s Run jam group, and hours of daily practice, for helping them master the instrument. The branch library, at 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, hosts the weekly jam every Tuesday morning from 10 a.m. to noon. To find out more, call (352) 567-3576.

Sue Dombrowski, center, is clearly feeling holiday cheer, as she plays ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’ Also, from left: Rozanne Henrich of Dade City, Joanne Allen of Zephyrhills, and Janet Ness of Zephyrhills (on Sue’s right). (Christine Holtzman)

Pam Lain, of Zephyrhills, strums and sings along to the group’s performance of the song, ‘Silver Bells.’ Lain, a piano player, began to learn the instrument about five months ago.

Ukulele Jam instructors Peter Sears, of Dade City, left, and his wife Karen perform the song, ‘Let it Snow,’ during a recent Christmas-themed jam at the Hugh Embry Branch Library. The instructors used sheet music on an iPad, but the music also was projected on the screen for others playing in the room.

Janet Ness, of Zephyrhills, carefully inspects how her fingers change cords, during a performance of the song, ‘Silver Bells.’ Ness has only been playing for three weeks, and seems to be picking it up rather quickly. Instructor Karen Sears said the hardest part of learning to play involves switching cords.

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