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Bryan LaPlante

After a childhood playing fiddles and guitars at Ottawa Valley fiddle contests and with his whole family actively playing and recording, music has always been central in Bryan’s life. His passions, bands, and projects over the years have spanned genres of rock, heavy metal, reggae, country, and folk. Bryan is a certified James Hill Level 3 ukulele instructor and a career elementary music teacher. He also directs a thriving community called "Halifax City Ukulele" of over nine hundred members, regularly hosting live and virtual sessions. Bryan recently performed with the group and taught workshops alongside friends and mentors J. Chalmers Doane, Melanie Doane, and James Hill at the 2023 Liverpool Ukulele Ceilidh. He also often backs up Dartmouth rock hero Matt Mays on stage with Mike Diabo and The Halifax Ukulele Gang, and in 2024 he recorded ukulele and vocals for James Hill on his latest album, “Ukeheads.”

Workshop One: Campfire Classics Sat Sept 21 - 9:30am

This beginner-level session is a journey through a collection of easy and unforgettable outdoor singalong tunes that have stood the test of time and become legends. If you own yourself a ‘uke, these trusty 3-chord fun-strum standards are essential for any musical occasion, or when someone says, “Hey! Do you know…?” You might also be pleasantly surprised by a few twists I have in store.

Workshop Two: Ukulele Golden Age - Songs of the 30s, 40s, and 50s Sat Sept 21 - 11:00am

Take a walk down memory lane! In this brave beginner-level session, we’ll stroll through tunes from the likes of Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, Bobby Darin, and Dion as we celebrate history with the greatest little instrument in the world. From the first ‘ukulele rush of the jazz/swing era to those catchy malt shop hits before the Beatles came along, this workshop is the cat’s pajamas! 

Workshop Three: Accentuate and Accelerate! Sat Sept 21 - 1:30pm

Ready to try something new? Tired of playing the same old chords the same old way? Using a list of familiar songs as a jumping-off point, this intermediate session teaches you how to add harmonic accents, alternate voicings, and percussion to your chord playing (yes, the uke is also a percussion instrument!) These simple adaptations can be easily applied to any of your own song choices and are often just a matter of adding, holding back, or repositioning the fingers on the fretboard. A few new strumming patterns and little tapping, flicking, and chucking can also make your uke stand out in a crowd!

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