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If you have always wanted to be in a band then Luxulele, Pudsey’s own community ukulele band, could be for you. Still in its infancy this group celebrated its 2nd birthday in December, last year, and has already gained a good reputation.

Luxulele was formed by two local women, Jill Huggins and Lesley Whiteley. Over coffee they told me about the development of the group.

“We got financial and practical help from the LOVE PUDSEY charity. A grant of £700 paid for the music stands and some ukuleles. We meet every Tuesday at the cafe Lux in Pudsey at 11am. Our aim was to form a daytime group, accessible to all levels of musicians including absolute beginners. In the early days we were unsure if anyone would turn up.”

The group has flourished and has grand ambitions. Last year’s ‘music tour’ consisted of 10 events, including the “BIG LUNCH” event, coffee mornings, fundraisers and Christmas fetes. The group looks very professional in their black t-shirts sporting the brand new logo.

They performed their first fundraiser of 2017 recently when Luxulele and Otley Ukulele Group joined forces to raise money for Bosom Friends. The event was a sell out and in total £780 was raised for the charity.

The two groups, with about 20 ukulele players apiece, each did a 45 minute set which seemed to go down very well with the audience who sang along to a selection of popular tunes. Future events are planned and so practice continues. The group are currently learning two new songs, ‘Do You Wanna Dance?’ and ‘Brown Eyed Girl.’

Feedback from the group is very positive. Most had never played any instrument before joining; a few have some experience.

“I used to play violin at school,” Diane told me, “and I must say I was worried at first but the group are so welcoming.”

Meeting and making new friends and enjoying each other’s company was mentioned more than once. But the big buzz for most was playing in a group, playing for others and having fun.

If you want to follow their progress visit;

www.luxulele.wordpress.com or, better yet, join them on a Tuesday morning at Cafe Lux.

Time to Shine is managed by Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst people over 50. Time to Shine selects partners across Leeds to deliver unique and creative projects that engage socially isolated people. Within the programme is robust external local and national evaluation to test and learn from the approaches and inform future work. For more information please visit: timetoshineleeds.org

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