DIRIGO STORIES: Success is no fluke for 'The FLUKES' in Falmouth

FALMOUTH (WGME) -- Five years of success is no fluke for “The FLUKES." The Falmouth Memorial Library Ukulele Society is bigger and better than ever.

"If you had told me five years ago we would be where we are today, I would've laughed and said, 'you're crazy!'" said FLUKES Director Nina Miller.

Miller founded “The FLUKES” while working as a circulation assistant at the library in February 2012. She plays horn for the Portland Symphony Orchestra, so she was a natural choice to lead the group.

"There is nothing about it that isn't fun, easy, doable, and creative," Miller said.

The group started taking lessons, and as the original eight members got better at playing the ukulele the FLUKES started performing around Southern Maine.

Today, there are 35 members, and they’ve performed at the Yarmouth Clam Festival, opened for the “Magic of Christmas” in Portland, and had a lot of laughs along the way.

“I absolutely live for Wednesdays,” said Bill Baukus, of South Portland.

Rehearsals are every Wednesday after the library closes so as not to disturb the usually quiet setting.

“It's a sense of community when you show up at practice,” said Elizabeth Watson, of Falmouth. “You see all these people you're looking forward to saying ‘hello’ to.”

Many musicians in the FLUKES, including Watson and Judy Connelie, of Topsham, had never played an instrument until trying the ukulele.

“I have no natural talent for music, but I love music,” Connelie said. “I found with four strings, I can sort of play!”

Miller says that’s the beauty of the instrument.

“You sound good pretty quickly. You can learn three chords in on hour and play hundreds of songs.”

Miller hopes the group continues to improve and play more shows in the area. She also wants to help other libraries start ukulele groups.

“The library is a heart of the community and part of that is music and bringing music to the community.”

To learn more about “The FLUKES,” CLICK HERE.

The FLUKES upcoming schedule:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 8, 75 State St., Portland, 6:15-7:15 pm
  • Monday, Feb. 13, Storytime, FML, 10-10:30 am
  • Wednesday, March 8, The Atrium, Portland, 7-8 pm
  • Wednesday, April 12, Sedgewood Commons, Falmouth, 6-7 pm
  • Tuesday, April 18, Osher Inn, Portland, 4-4:45 pm
  • Tuesday, May 2, Portland House of Music benefit concert, time TBA
  • Thursday, June 1, Maine Medical Center "Care Fair", 10-1 pm (specific time TBA, we'll probably play two 30-minute sets)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15, Osher Inn, Portland, 4-4:45 pm
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, The Atrium, Portland, 7-8 pm
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