World-Renowned Italian String Maker Makes Unexpected Donation

May 28, 2018 | By Liz Shropshire

Our Ukulele Provider - Mercatino Ukulele Showcase and Aquila Strings!

This month, Liz Shropshire made a pit stop in Italy on her way from Kosovo to Greece! Read below for her story on the amazing, generous people behind the ukuleles that are used around the world in Shropshire Music Foundation programs. HUGE thanks go to everyone involved: Mimmo Peruffo and his team at Mercatino Ukulele in Vicenza, Italy; Tracie Anderson, and the Ukulele Underground.

“A year ago, thanks to Tracie Anderson and the Ukulele Underground (a real thing) I met MIMMO PERUFFO, who invented the strings used on almost every ukulele sold in the world today, Aquila Strings. Mimmo read about our difficulties getting ukes for the Yazidi Refugees in Greece, and offered to donate as many as we needed. The ukes he donated were unique - they are both extremely durable AND project a beautiful tone, making them perfect for us! We stayed in touch, and when I saw that my flights would take me through Italy enroute to Greece from Kosovo, I arranged a meeting with him in Vicenza, Italy, which is one hour from Venice. After leaving Kosovo, I flew to Venice, and the next day traveled by train to Vicenza. Mimmo gave me a tour of the fascinating process of Aquila String making, and then we crossed the street to the Mercatino Ukulele Showcase. Together with two others from his team, we discussed why ukulele is such an important part of the SMF Peace Through Music Program, and I showed them video of the Yazidi Youth Volunteers playing the ukuleles he donated. The next thing I knew, Mimmo asked me how many ukuleles we needed per year, and said that they would provide them for us. I almost cried with joy. They donated ukuleles for our Uganda program immediately, and arranged for future ukuleles for our other programs!”

Here are pictures from the ukulele factory, with Liz, Mimmo, and members of his team; as well as the Yazidi Youth Volunteer Teachers learning ukulele at their class in Greece.