Island Ukuleles Background
From its birth in Portugal to the venerable instruments associated with the music of Hawaii, the Ukulele has gained an enduring reputation. To help continue the tradition, Bonita (Bonnie) Smith formed the Island Ukuleles to bring the sounds of this versatile instrument to Victoria B.C., Canada. Island Ukuleles boasts a 30-year history and maintains a repertoire that encompasses music that spans the decades and the world.
Scenic Vancouver Island provides a perfect atmosphere for the "Island Ukuleles" which is currently directed by Mrs. Tina Horwood, herself an alumnae of the ensemble, and Mrs. Melissa McKnight. The "Island Ukuleles" Association is comprised of students from kindergarten through grade 12 from 17 different schools in the Victoria area. This is a natural outgrowth of the elementary schools' ukulele program in this area.
"Island Ukuleles" is an honour ukulele ensemble based out of School District 61 in Victoria, B.C. Students in "Island Ukuleles" receive instruction from qualified teachers with a background in ukulele. The students are introduced to music theory, and vocal and instrumental skills through the use of ukuleles, acoustic basses, and other percussion instruments.
"Island Ukuleles" strives for a high level of musicianship through a performance-based comprehensive music program. Students who are involved in the A (Senior) Ensemble have the option of receiving high school credits for their participation in the program.