Young Ukulele Enthusiasts to Perform at Canton Public Library Tonight

Concert will showcase an instrument that’s experienced resurgence in popularity.

Whether it was in the hallways between classes or at a student concert, the sound of ukulele was prevalent at Canton High School this past year.

And tonight, the public has the chance to see three of the instrument's most active enthusiasts in a concert at the Canton Public Library.

Recent Canton High School graduates Jon Cahill and Zachary Wiles and upcoming senior Ralph Holley will perform a mix of pop favorites, rock tunes, ukulele classics, an original and more starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night (July 10, 2012).

“It’s going to be free and fun for all ages,” Holley said.

For most of the show, Holley will play his 8-string tenor ukulele while Cahill and Wiles will play concert-sized instruments. 

While the three have played ukuleles at other concerts this will be their first show to feature them almost exclusively.

All three will sing and for variety Wiles will play a little upright bass and Holley accordion. 

Two of the songs they will cover originally featured accordion.

"Ralph knows how to play it so why not add it in?," Cahill said. 

Holley who works at the library said personnel there asked him about putting on a concert after they learned about a ukulele club at Canton High School.

While there are several others at the school who play, the three, along with Gabriel Speigel, were the most active members of that club.

The students would often play in the hallways between classes, in the foyer at the school or at concerts.

“We were very mysterious,” Holley said.

Wiles has played the instrument for six years and Holley nearly four but both agree it's gained in popularity in the past few.

It’s easy to learn, relatively inexpensive, gentle on the fingers and very portable.

Holley feels the growing popularity of the Internet has also really helped as people can share and watch music videos from anyone and not just what record companies decide to promote.

“There’s really no filter anymore,” he said.

And Holley believes that the ukulele is a versatile instrument, which people recognize after hearing a variety of tunes on it.

“The ukulele’s just amazing,” he said.

The concert will start at 6:30 p.m. Holley said the plan is to play outside behind the library but the show will be moved inside in the case of inclement weather.


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