Our Founding Members:
There is much more to write about the history of this organization, but this heartfelt essay about the Carnegie from founding member Dan Murray takes us back to the VERY beginning:
Me and the Carnegie
Back about 1962, when the Carnegie and I were both a bit younger, I got my first guitar. A “made in Japan” cheapo electric that was almost impossible to play. But I was determined. And poor, so lessons were out of the question. So every Saturday morning I’d ride my bike the two miles to the Library and check out music books. Especially songbooks. Especially the Weavers Family Songbook. As soon as it was due, I’d return it and and check it out again, and again, and again. Thanks to this wonderful old building I learned to play guitar and even read music a little.
And now, some fifty odd years later, I get to return the favor. It is my great privilege to hold a weekly ukulele class with upwards of fifty members in the very room where I discovered Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Frost, and Pete Seeger. It’s such a joy to share with others what I learned in this building so long ago. It is also my privilege to lead Turlock Uke Jamz, the area’s largest community sing along, each month in this wonderful venue. I feel that the Carnegie and I have each come full circle. I am honored to be a part of her renewed presence in our community.
Sunshine Strummers Today
Turlock Sunshine Strummers, originally an offshoot of the once monthly Turlock Uke Jamz, now meets weekly in the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, California on Thursday mornings and sometimes concurrently online on Zoom. Because we have Zoomers joining us from all across the the country and beyond, when we meet on Zoom we are simply the Sunshine Strummers, but when we meet live locally, we are still the Turlock Sunshine Strummers. Our live meetings are typically lead by John Bartlett, Kathy Nish and Larry Burns but occasionally Jonathan or Chuck, performing familiar songs from every genre of American Music with strummers from all about the region who commute to Turlock to be a part of the singing and strumming. The fun never stops. For current information about dates and times of our various meetings, visit our News section.
One of the primary resources for UkeJamz and Turlock Sunshine Strummers was the archive of 600+ songs in pdf format created by Dan Murray and Joe Persons. This amazing archive of songs arranged for the ukulele was at the heart of the former UkeJamz.org site. When the monthly UkeJamz meetings stopped recently and the website crashed, the Turlock Sunshine Strummers decided to create this website to keep the music available to the many folks who join the strumming at our live and Zoom meetings. To access the pdf files, visit our Song Archives
Turlock Uke Jamz
Turlock UkeJamz is on indefinite hiatus. But don’t despair! All the songs you love are still here in the Archives in pdf format and if you’ve got a yen to Uke live and in person, the Sunshine Strummers are currently meeting at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock on Thursday mornings from 10:00 AM to Noon Pacific time. Larry Burns, John Bartlett and Kathy Nish, and often others including Jonathan and Chuck, lead the strumming, singing and storytelling good times. Occasionally there will be an open mic or two as well.
Sunshine Strummers also frequently hosts a Zoom meeting in conjunction with the live Turlock meetings. Contact us to receive an invitation to join live or watch the video afterward at your convenience on either YouTube or the Turlock Sunshine Strummers Group on Facebook. Your Zoom hosts are Ron and Betty Lodewyck and Kelly Darpinian.
Send us an email at [email protected]