OAKRIDGE, Ore. - Sherri Campbell visited Oakridge specifically for the Doo-Wop workshop.
“One of the things that’s nice about taking workshops is that you can stretch yourself and make yourself a better player," said the Milwaukie, Ore., resident, "because you can just sit there and strum for the rest of your life or move up and do some things that are interesting."
The first Oakridge Ukulele Festival took place this month. The festival was organized by Gary Carl and Lynda Kamerrer — owners of the Oakridge Hostel — and attracted ukulele players from around the state.
“Three different workshops are going on today with various themes for different levels of ukulele players,” Carl said during the event. “Later on between 5 and 6 o’clock this afternoon there’s an open-mic at the bakery here in Oakridge and then from 7:30 on there are going to be performances by James Clem and Brook Adams.”
The workshops were held at Oakridge Elementary School down the road from the hostel.
Denise Hinz and Patty Sage from the Eugene-based band The Refreshments taught the Doo-Wop workshop in the afternoon.
“I’ve been teaching ukulele for about 6 hours and I’ve been playing ukulele for about 5 years,” Hinz said.
Brook Adams of the Swingin’ Marmalukeys taught a Jamming 101 workshop at the school and James Clem taught a blues-themed workshop.
The festival was in part a plan by Carl and others to attract visitors to Oakridge, but also a great opportunity for people to come together and enjoy music.
“That’s what it’s all about. It’s about having fun with music, so we’re pleased to be able to host this event,” Carl said.