Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra

Doing big things with little instruments!  Formed in 1994, The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra now includes songwriter and educator Bernice Lewis, Mariah Colorado, and Dan Broad on upright bass.   This isn’t your grandma’s ukulele ensemble: No grass skirts, no coconut bras. Carefully arranged ukuleles come together to create a whole lotta’ sound!  The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra performs originals, as well as re-invents standard favorites. Their set list features songs from every musical era, ranging from Mozart to the Andrews Sisters, from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead.

Twenty-five years ago, Singer/Songwriter Bernice Lewis was invited to join a locally based collaborative called The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra. Back then, you couldn’t find a uke, even in the music stores, but she was immediately intrigued by the instrument, and interested in performing with other women. Now, the touring band has morphed into a mother – daughter duo, with bass player Dan Broad available when the budget allows.


Bernice Lewis has been a touring singer/songwriter and arts educator for almost four decades, performing at festivals, clubs, house concerts and theaters from one coast to the other as well as Ireland, Canada and Mexico. Lewis has studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson, has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. She is The Artist Associate in Songwriting at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.  She also teaches at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, Schreiner University in Kerrville, TX, as well as countless freelance workshops at many schools and retreat centers.

Mariah Colorado was recently graduated from Brandeis University. She began playing the keyboard and ukulele at age six and has been performing her own songs in front of crowds since she was 12. A wonderful songwriter in her own right, she became a member of The Ladies during her sophomore year of high school, because somebody had to sing harmony!

NINA COCHRAN - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE Bernice Lewis and Mariah Colorado, mother and daughter, with their ukuleles. Williamstown, Mass. July 12, 2017.

NINA COCHRAN – THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE Bernice Lewis and Mariah Colorado, mother and daughter, with their ukuleles. Williamstown, Mass. July 12, 2017.


A favorite at Mass MoCa's Fresh Grass Festival, The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra perform an eclectic mix of originals mixed with a smattering of carefully curated covers.  Together, they have performed at Kripalu (Stockbridge, MA), Omega Institute (Rhinebeck, NY), Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville, TX), Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, (Hillsdale, NY) Williams College’s ’62 Centre (Williamstown, MA, Uncle Calvin’s (Dallas, TX), Anderson Fair (Houston, TX), Club Passim (Cambridge, MA), First Night Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, NY), Sugar Hill Folk Festival, (Dalton, MA) Berkshire County Ukefest (Williamstown, MA), The Dreamaway Lodge (Becket, MA), Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA), as well as lots of house concerts and clubs.

The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra play a concert and a tenor Cocobolo Ukulele (Nicaragua), a Mya Moe soprano, as well as an old Magic Fluke, a Kala, and a really old SS Stewart. Bernice and Mariah are having an awfully good time performing together. Mom says: “She’s 23 and I’m not…so it’s really important for us to live in the moment.”
The duo opened the three-hour concert in a cozy, standing- room-only setting at the inn, performing folk, rock, originals and pop classics.

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Audio Links:
Video Links:
Ukefest 2019 Demo (Live Performance):

Itty Bitty Bladder Club:

By the Way I Breathe © Mariah and Bernice Lewis:

When I Go © Dave Carter:


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