How I Became a Ukulele Player

By Abigail Vitaliano, '17  |  Photos by Abigail Vitaliano, '17

There is something to be said for small moments… especially when those moments exist outside of our comfort zone.

In a curious way, Loyola University Maryland provides the spark that each of its students needs to discover something new. These discoveries exist in thought, action, but most importantly, within self.

It starts with some dialogue, “Hey, I’m starting a new club. Can you come to the first meeting?”

Looking back a year later, this is how I found myself becoming a ukulele player.


On a Sunday afternoon, I pulled out the dusty instrument I’ve owned since high school—because I thought it made me artsy—and actually gave it a chance.

Due to my inexperience and lack of music ability, joining the Loyola Ukulele Choir was originally an overwhelming act.

But with only one hour of practice, I knew four chords, a strum pattern, and sent my mom a video of myself playing Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.”


I now realize that this is exactly what happens when you get involved in something at Loyola.

It is a place that breeds new experiences, changes the norm, and encourages branching out.

It is moments like Ukulele Choir that make me realize that as individuals, especially on this campus, we are not defined by the things that we have always done, but more so the things that we are trying to do.

I think anyone can agree that “getting involved” at Loyola goes beyond attending some meetings or working a table in the Student Center. It allows a student to realize parts of him or herself that might have otherwise been unknown.


In my own experience, I have discovered what I am passionate about, what I enjoy spending my time doing, and I have found other individuals that share these interests. These things have become the best parts of my conversations, the best parts of my day, and include the best friends I have made at this university to date.

I think everyone should be aware: signing up for something casually or going to an event on a whim might just be the most important random decision you ever make at Loyola.


Abby Vitaliano is a senior from Staten Island, N.Y. When she’s not studying public relations and advertising, or working as a marketing intern, she enjoys playing volleyball and serving as captain of the club volleyball team, serving as director of marketing/social media for Loyola’s Ukulele Choir, and helping welcoming new students to Loyola as an Evergreen. A member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, and Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communications Honor Society, Abby is also a member of Loyola’s chapters of Relay for Life and Action for Autism. She studied abroad in Rome as a junior. 

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1 Comment

  • Posted by Tara | February 1, 2017

    Aloha Abigail –

    Ho`omaika`i for starting up Loyola Ukulele Choir! I graduated in 1990 and am a Native Hawaiian. I am part of a very large Hawaiian community here in the area. If your Choir would like to attend any of our events…please e-mail me at

    I would love to attend your performances as well! Can you please let me know how I can follow your Choir?

    Me ke Aloha *Tara (Haunani)

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