UFO HUM (Ukes for Others : Happy Ukulele Movement) is the official performance ensemble of the Utah Uke Fest. This ukulele group also appears at various community events, city festivals and does service at area rest homes. The ensemble is based in American Fork and organized by director M. Ryan Taylor of UkulelePlay.com. The group is a child-organization of the American Fork Children’s Choir (which also offers a Ukulele Youth Choir), which is fiscally sponsored by the non-profit Timpanogos Arts Foundation.
Joining UFO HUM
UFO HUM periodically accepts new players. Confident beginners, intermediate and advanced players are welcome.
- A minimum one semester commitment is required to join.
- You should be able to read both standard notation and tablature, or be willing to learn them.
- You should have a good grasp of basic ukulele chords and be able to strum confidently in basic patterns (like d-du-udu).
If you don’t own one already, you’ll need a ukulele with a pickup installed, a 10-20′ instrument cable and a small amp with a built-in distortion effect (or a distortion pedal and another shorter patch chord).Equipment needs are being reevaluated, please talk to Ryan at rehearsal before making any major purchases.
- You’ll need ‘concert black’ attire for formal concerts (black collared shirt and black pants or skirt) and a tropical print shirt, skirt, dress or sarong for informal performances.
- $85 semester membership dues collected twice a year (Fall & Winter). Alternately, if can’t pay for a semester all at once, you may pay $35 a month or $10 a week.
Typically, join dates are in August/September and January/February. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining.
- M. Ryan Taylor : UFO HUM director M. Ryan Taylor is a graduate of Brigham Young University with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Composition. After finishing school, Ryan’s opera Abinadi was performed and recorded for broadcast by BYU’s opera department and BYUTV. He self-produced his second opera, The Other Wise Man (with the enormous help of his wife), as well as a number of local concerts over the next few years. Ryan produced three children’s music albums during this time as well as an album of Americana entitled American Revolutions. After taking a Summer off to hike the Wasatch range with his wife, Ryan took up the reigns as the director of the American Fork Children’s Choir and shortly thereafter organized Ukulele Play! under its umbrella as well as the Utah Uke Fest (Utah’s first ukulele festival); UFO HUM is an outgrowth of that activity. Taylor was inspired to take up the uke after watching Jake Shimabukuro play his cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He also plays tuba, bass, piano and other instruments. He lives in American Fork with his cute wife Dixie and their adorable son Taavi.
- Amy Allred : Amy Allred played the ukulele for three years before joining UFO HUM in the 2014-15 season. Amy has always enjoyed being involved with music, theatre and dance. She played the piano and viola as a child, and as a teenager she participated in over 30 theatrical productions. She graduated from Western Wyoming Community College with a degree in Musical Theatre. Amy lives in Orem with her husband of 12 years and their three sons.
- Bill Coleman : Bill started playing the ukulele when he was only six years old. His father was the teacher of a small band of beginning ukulele students. Bill learned 3 chords and 15 songs at that time and has spent 39 years perfecting the way he plays them. Recently he discovered there were more chords to play on a ukulele and over the past couple of years has become increasingly more proficient and productive with his uke.
Bill was raised in a small Utah town in a small farm environment with a big love for music. He comes from a long line of musical talents and tradition. Bill’s appreciation for country and bluegrass grew at a young age as he learned to clog. Bill clogged for 4 years from age ten to fourteen. Unfortunately Bill does not clog any longer due to the unfortunate, untimely and early departure, of his left leg, to the next life. Bill has also been a part of many touring choirs and singing groups. He hopes to share and pass on his love and enthusiasm for music and seeks to continue developing his skills and abilities. Bill has made, played and tinkered with many instruments in his life, most of which he has had no formal training, including the ukulele, violin, kazoo, nose flute, harmonica, wash board, wash bucket bass, jaw harp, spoons, hand saw, banjolele, mandolele, jug, tambourine, bongo drums, and maracas. Bill is the father of 7 children, a dog, a cat, 5 rabbits, 6 chickens, and grandfather of 1. He lives in Highland with his lovely wife Lisa. He graduated from Weber State University with a degree in education where he has taught children for 20 years.
- Cliff Gaede : He was born in Oklahoma on a farm, raised in California, and retired in Utah. Has been married to his wife Diane for over 50 years. He has 3 sons, 1 unofficially adopted daughter and 20 grandchildren. Enjoys gardening, fishing, metal detecting, reading, playing golf, and going to BYU football games for which he has season tickets. He and his wife have season tickets to Hale Center Theater which they enjoy very much. He is also a ham radio operator. Most of his working career was spent in R & D and Engineering in Silicon Valley with a degree in electronics. The last few years before retirement were spent driving a limousine all over northern CA and once drove cross-country from Tennessee back to CA. Driving ended up being his very favorite job. In high school he was active in FFA and as a senior had the Grand Champion hog at the Santa Clara County Fair. He played the trumpet in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. He sang in a cappella choirs throughout jr high, high school, and college, and various choirs since then including barbershop. He attended Ryan’s first ukulele boot camp and has been involved with UFO HUM since its inception.
- Julia Shumway : Julia started playing ukulele when she was 8, as part of her 3rd grade class’s spring ukulele concert. Music has always been an important part of Julia’s life: she started piano lessons at age 2, and has since achieved varying levels of proficiency at string bass, guitar, Jew’s harp, Japanese taiko drums, and the Icelandic Langspil. She’s always looking for opportunities to play music as part of a group and jumped at the chance to join UFO-HUM when her friend Troy Larsgard told her about it. Julia has undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Public Health and a Master’s of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. She spends her days working as a healthcare data analyst. She also enjoys freelance writing: her first gig was as a dating advice columnist for Deseret News, and now she mainly focuses on reviewing local theater for Utah Theatre Bloggers. A few interesting facts about Julia. She and her husband are the proud owners of a small herd of litter-trained house rabbits. Julia is incredibly accident prone and once got her front tooth knocked in on the Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland. She also set her hair on fire via her birthday cake candles… two years in a row.
- Max Lundberg was introduced to music at a young age, taking piano lessons with encouragement from his mother. He played several brass instruments in a Junior High School band and dabbled with a banjo for a couple of years in his early teens. He has been singing in his local church choir for many years. He bought a Ukulele to play at a family reunion 5 years ago which, sadly, sat unused for several years after the reunion. He took an adult continuing education Ukulele class at the University of Utah in early 2015 and has been working on his Ukulele skills since then. He joined the UFO HUM group in 2016 after a whirlwind class with Ryan Taylor. Max is a practicing physician who with Karen, his wife of many years, has four children and seven grandchildren.
- Steve Baugh : Steve was introduced to the ukulele while on a cruise ship to Hawaii in 2012. The cruise offered free ukulele lessons so he gave it a try. He fell in love with the instrument and purchased his first Uke in Hilo on the Big Island at the ship’s first stop. Twenty years previously he had a brief stint playing classical guitar so playing a ukulele using a fingerstyle method felt very comfortable. He loves playing different parts in an ensemble with UFO HUM. With Ryan Taylor’s guidance, the experience has helped his playing by learning how to keep beat while playing with others, learning to read music, and singing different parts (he is a self-described back-up singer). He loves to play solo arrangements of blues, classical, jazz and ragtime pieces embellishing them when he can and he has written some blues and classical pieces of his own. He married Evelyn Colby in 1971, has two sons and seven grandkids, earned a BS in Psychology from the U of U in 1973, worked in insurance for 36 years, and retired in 2010. He volunteers as a part time service missionary at BYU Family History Library.
- Steven Stark : Steven Stark has a Computer Science degree from BYU. He has worked in the software development industry for many years as a software developer, QA engineer, system/project engineer, and development manager. Most of those years have been in the Automated Material Handling industry controlling robotic equipment. He has been married to his wife – Lorrie – for 47 years and they have 6 children and 14 grandkids. Most of his musical talent is what he married his wife Lorrie. As a young man he did play the guitar for his own enjoyment and with a few college friends but had not played for many years. Two years ago he and his wife attended one of M. Ryan Taylor’s Ukulele Boot Camps and from that he wanted to learn more. Being in this group has stretched him and he continues learn more with each practice and performance. He enjoys learning something new and expanding himself. He hopes to someday to be the equal to the other members of the group. He enjoys the time spend practicing with his wife working on his musical development. Thanks for their support and patience.
- Troy Larsgard : Troy Larsgard started playing the Ukulele on December 23, 2015. He has rarely missed playing a day since. After teaching himself for the first couple of months, he sought out a class that offered more instruction. Little did he know that not only did a community class exist, but there was also a Ukulele performing group! In addition to the beginner classes, he decided to jump in feet first and join UFO HUM. He thoroughly enjoys it and the happy music UFO HUM plays. His original inspiration for playing the Ukulele was learning the “Lava” song from the Disney Pixar short film, “Lava.” Originally from Minnesota, Troy attended Brigham Young University where he received his Master of Public Administration. He resides in Salt Lake County and works in the Healthcare industry. In addition to the Ukulele, Troy enjoys playing piano and singing in choir. He also loves Utah’s great outdoors. You may see him hiking a mountain trail or covering several miles on his road bike, although, you’ll never see him biking and playing the Ukulele at the same time.
- Vicki May Thorpe : Vicki Thorpe has played the ukulele with UFO HUM for three years. Her first exposure to the ukulele was her dad imitating Tiny Tim. Vicki plays and teaches violin and guitar. She learned to play the ukulele because of a request from her daughter’s fourth grade elementary teacher to teach ukulele to the class. That was over 15 years ago and she has enjoyed playing the ukulele ever since. Vicki has two adult children and lives with her husband of 29 years. Vicki has a degree from university of Utah in communications and public relations and currently studies health, nutrition, and kinesiology and coaches people in that.
The UFO HUM Logo
Jellafornie worked with us to make the above printable logo for our Summer t-shirts from the the original concept art by Spencer Myers: