Ukulele Club strums new life into popular hymns

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BYU’s Ukulele Club is using ukuleles to take a unique spin on favorite hymns with help from ukulele composer Randy Rubio.

With only four strings and simple chords, the ukulele is one of the easiest instruments for beginners to learn. The club had a class from Rubio that helped them explore how the instrument can be used to make well-known hymns just a little bit more interesting.

For Rubio, the ukulele was the first instrument he ever held as a young child in the Philippines.

“My mother decided that this was a good instrument for me to start with,” Rubio said.

But it wasn’t until he had a family of his own that he began creating his own versions of popular hymns on the instrument.  

“This is upbeat cheerful music, it’s not the traditional music that we normally hear,” he said.

BYU’s Ukulele Club, which meets every Tuesday in the Wilkinson Student Center, gathered to hear Rubio’s versions of their favorite hymns and practice their own skills.

Rubio wanted to create music that his children would actually enjoy listening and singing along to while also helping them feel the spirit.

“When I want to invite the spirit, it takes only a few notes from gospel music to get me into another mood,” he said. “It’s almost instantaneous.”

No matter their skill level, members of the club come ready to learn and enjoy their passion for music together.

For more information about BYU’s Ukulele Club, check out their Instagram.

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