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HISTORY: The Vancouver Island Ukulele Orchestra was started by professional music instructor, Anna Lyman, B.Mus. It began as the Nanaimo Ukulele Orchestra at the end of October 2013, and rehearsals were at Anna's house. The orchestra started when a lady named Mary Kool came to Anna to take a group class. Members of Anna's Nanaimo Ukulele Circle had just completed a sing and strum type class, so that type of class was not needed at that time. So Anna asked Mary if she would be interested in playing as part of a larger ensemble. Anna told the Ukulele Circle members, and Mary told all her friends, and rehearsals began. The word spread and soon we had 6 or 7 ladies. That July the orchestra made their debut at the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival in a brief cameo. Soon the group began appearing at the Ukulele Circle's "Ukulele For Christmas" annual fundraiser for the purpose of purchasing ukuleles to give to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive. They have also continued to appear at the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival.
ABOUT THE CONDUCTOR: Conductor/Director Anna Lyman, B.Mus. is a talented and accomplished Jazz Vocalist, with a Major in Voice and a Minor in Guitar. She is an award-winning ukulele player. She has appeared with her Latin Jazz Quartet and or Jazzalele Ukulele Trio at the Pender Harbour Jazzfest, the Victoria International Jazzfest, Butchart Gardens, the Winecountry Ukulele Festival in the Napa Valley, California, and many more... Anna's songwriting skills and arrangements have been praised by Jazz Review, All About Jazz, and many more... Her music arranging skills brought her an award when she arranged "Blue Monk" and performed it as a ukulele duet with Steve Sutton at the 2012 Vancouver Ukulele Festival, taking First prize in the Instrumental Cover Song competition category.
The MUSIC: As is done to this day, Anna Lyman (B.Mus.) arranges all the music based on variety and desired skill level, making all the music unique and one-of-a-kind. The orchestra is open to those who either read notes on the ukulele or else tablature (tabs). Timing and music theory are taught with exercises that are presented during rehearsals. The rehearsals are one hour in length. The orchestra is open to anyone who can rehearse from 1 - 2 pm on a Wednesday.