The CHS Halls Are Alive With The Sound of Ukuleles

During classes, passing period, lunch, and even after school activities, sounds of a ukulele can be heard as students share their musical talent with passersby. Juniors Ian Waasdorp and Nathaniel Alcala, and senior Jim Tosaard habitually bring their ukuleles to school solely for their and others’ personal enjoyment.

Waasdorp began playing the ukulele near the end of the his sophomore year, learning via YouTube tutorials. Having since become very fond of it, he enjoys bringing his ukulele to school with him every day, noting lunchtime as a great place to showcase his skills sitting alongside friends. Waasdorp’s current musical repertoire ranges from classic rock to love songs, with his favorite song being “No Buses” by the Arctic Monkeys.

“Playing this instrument affects me in a positive way everyday,” Waasdorp said. “I love the smiles that glow on people’s faces when I play a song they recognize. Making other people happy is what really motivates me to play.”

Like Waasdorp, Tosaard usually carries his ukelele with him, frequently bringing it to both school and swim meets. Some of his favorite memories include entertaining teammates at the latter venue by playing, and even singing, funny songs. A fan of making/playing pop, alternative, and punk rock music on his ukelele and other instruments, Tosaard lists his favorite bands including, Coldplay, Blink-182, and the Script, as personal muses. Though he does not think he will pursue a music career, Tosaard hopes to maintain his musical interests as hobbies because playing is his favorite form of personal expression.

“It [music] has an effect on me in a really good way. Getting in touch with the instruments gives me a connection with the music,” Tosaard said. “If I didn’t play any of these instruments, a large portion of my social life would be gone.”

Usually playing his ukulele at school during lunch, Alcala draws most of his inspiration from friends and experiences he has had while playing instruments. Open to different music genres, his repertoire includes music by the Beatles and the Foo Fighters, as well as jazz, country, and pop. Alcala has a fascination with the soft sounds of the ukulele and has even used his music to overcome challenges he has faced.

“These instruments helped shape my life in a positive way because it drew me away from my bad habits and really helped me to just focus on music,” Alcala said. “What motivates me to play is that one day I can pass on what I have learned, to someone else.”

With a great passion for music and the gentle melodies of their ukuleles, these three entertain with the students, teachers, and staff alike, just by doing what they love.