COS instructor brings community together, one ukulele at a time at 'Booch-A-Le-Le' events

Bill Choy
Mount Shasta Herald
David Blink

College of the Siskiyous music instructor David Blink believes in the power of music to bring people together and form community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why he has recently started a weekly music get-together, "Booch-A-Le-Le" each Friday at the Alua's Thrive Bar in Mount Shasta. The event, held outside on the patio, started about five weeks ago and will have two more sessions this Friday and the Friday after from 3 to 4 p.m.

Alua's Thrive Bar – which features Alua Kombucha, hence the weekly event's name – is located at 315 Chestnut Street in Mount Shasta.

Blink rides his bike, strapped full of ukuleles, while wearing bright, colorful clothing to the Thrive Bar each Friday as people get together for a jam session. Blink said he encourages people to join in and play, even those that might not think they are musically inclined. He said it’s special to see people from the community create beautiful music together and form friendships. 

Folks get together to play some ukulele in Mount Shasta.

“We want to explore new ways to bring  people together and have them connect, using music as a tool,” he said. “I want to create community through music. It’s my passion.”  Blink loves seeing people come to the music sessions not sure about if they can play and by the end of the session, they are having a great time being comfortable playing tunes. 

Blink said he tries to bring a sense of fun and playfulness to the music session to put people at ease. His bright, colorful and a bit "out there" clothing does the trick, and "gives people permission to take risks," he said.

More:One hurdle for COS students? Housing. Here's how the school is planning to help

Blink will take a few weeks break in June while he is on a trip to Mexico and plans to resume the weekly activity over the summer. He also plans to hold community-based musical events this year at the Mt. Shasta Summer Concert series.

Blink will teach a class at COS this summer that he calls a new twist on chamber music ensembles: Telos Collective- Creating Community con Música. The class will center on designing and facilitating interactive musical flash mobs for various community events in the Mt. Shasta area.

More:What's happening with COS's theatre project? It depends on the building's actual condition

He said the class is perfect for those who are interested in creating community and want to participate in music, even if they don't consider themselves "musicians." And it is great, he said, for those "that like to be playful and create a little chaos."

Rehearsals/Planning meetings will take place Tuesdays from June 16 through August 17 online via Zoom. The classes can be found at COS under 

• 5248 – MUS 1508 – Chamber Music Ensemble 

• 5249 – MUS 0588 – Community Chamber Music Ensemble (non-credit) 

More information can be found at the COS and COS performing arts Facebook pages.