On a sunny afternoon this week at Southampton Football Club in the UK, over 4000 people gathered in a bid to put together the worlds largest ukulele ensemble gathered in one location.
Coaches from across the UK made their way to St Mary’s Stadium in the county of Hampshire from all ages and walks of life… all with a glint in their eyes, focussed on making history.
Well known CBeebies actor and presenter, Justin Fletcher MBE, joined the likes of Chairman of Hampshire County Council and the Hampshire Music Hub partnership to lead the throng, making an official count of 2,370 motley musicians all playing in unison, and playing a 30 minute programme of well known songs on their ukuleles. In between, Justin also led a sing-along of songs for all the little kids… and the many big kids to sing and dance to, with a fun and lively day had for all to enjoy.
The set list included You Are My Sunshine, When the Saints Come Marching In and a number written for the day called The Uke ‘n’ Sing Song.
Jill Larner, Head of Hampshire Music Service, said:
“The response to our appeal for ukulele players to take part was fantastic and it feels incredible that 2370 people helped strum us into the record books!”
“Not only have we been working with classes and groups all over Hampshire and UK, teaching them how to play the ukulele… we also inspired our very own councillor Colin Davidovitz, Hampshire County Council’s Chairman, to take up the ukulele and encourage fellow councillors to support the world record attempt. This has been a marvellous motivation for learning and has certainly helped us to end the school year on a high note, quite literally!”
“I am grateful to Southampton Football Club for allowing us to use the stadium for this event and to Mahalo, the company that makes our ukuleles, who kindly donated £4500 for t-shirts for all the participants on the day.”
Hampshire county councillor Colin Davidovitz also took part, accompanied by Southampton mayor Sue Blatchford.
Mr Davidovitz said:
“It was wonderful to be with so many happy children from Hampshire and Southampton schools.”
“It seemed that the saints really had come marching in as the stadium resounded to the sound of their enthusiastic singing and dancing as they strummed the afternoon away on their ukuleles.”
Previously in 2012, during the Leiland Grow Incorporated Ukulele Picnic at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse in Kanagawa, Japan a total count of 2,134 participants gathered in a ukulele ensemble and so this attempt in the UK has beaten this number by well over 200 more musicians.
A very well done to all involved… and we are sure even the well-loved Brit singer/songwriter, and famous Ukulele musician George Formby himself would have been real proud of this achievement reaching the UK!
Special thanks to the team at Hampshire County Council and Southampton Football Club.