IT’S not all jam and Jerusalem at this Women’s Institute.
These members of the Hyden WI in Clanfield don’t stick to tradition as they receive ukelele lessons from 15-year-old Jon Mitra.
For the past six months they have been taught by Jon, the head boy at Horndean Technology College.
He wanted to share his passion for the ukulele and so contacted the WI, which his grandmother is involved in, and offered them lessons.
And they jumped at the chance.
Now, having played their first concert at the WI barbecue at Catherington in July, the players are booked in for their second at Horndean Technology College for a Christmas party on December 16.
Jackie Chamberlain, a member of the group, said: ‘Jon is so patient with us.
‘He makes it a lot of fun and he is also a fantastic teacher.’
The WI has been meeting with Jon at St James Church Hall, Clanfield, to practise every fortnight.
The 12-member-strong group – with an age range of 67 to 87 – call themselves the Hyden WI Desperados.
The student turned teacher loves music.
He started with the trumpet at the age of five and now plays 15 musical instruments such as brass, woodwind and strings.
When the college bought 30 ukuleles for students around two years ago, it was no surprise that Jon excelled.
After joining and showing great interest the ukulele club at school, Jon quickly made his way through the ranks and soon started to run the club.
Jon, loving the experience, said: ‘I thought it would be good to start a ukulele group. It’s quite quirky and a new challenge but one that is very enjoyable to be part in.’
Hyden WI is part of the Hampshire County Federation of Women’s Institutes, which is comprised of local Institutes from all across Hampshire.
The organisation runs a number of events and charity work.
Hyden WI meets every third Monday of the month at Petersgate School, Clanfield, at 7.30pm to discuss current topics and upcoming events.