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Young Kiwi's Rehearsal Smashes World Record

Media Release for Immediate Release November 19th 2009

New Zealand kids have proven they have easily the biggest ukulele orchestra in the world. Gathering at Mt Smart on Friday November 13th to rehearse for this Saturday’s BNZ Ukulele Festival performance, 961 children from the Kiwileles, New Zealand’s massed children’s ukulele orchestra, smashed the current world record of 851. The attempt has been registered with the Guinness Book of Records.

“Children love superlatives, so it was very exciting for them to form the giant ukulele and prove their claim,” says Festival trustee Maria Winder. “The children were amazingly patient as they waited for the shot. We passed the time by strumming some of our festival songs while watching the aerial photographer fly overhead.”

Now looking to break their own record this Saturday

The Kiwileles are confident they will break this record again on Saturday November 21 when a few hundred more out of town children arrive to join them at the BNZ Ukulele Festival 2009. At 1pm there will be another official count, and the ukulele enthusiasts in the crowd will be invited to strum along with their theme song ‘Kiwi Ukulele’.

Leading pop artist lends his hand

Along with the Uke Art competition being run by festival sponsors BNZ, iconic Kiwi artist Dick Frizzell has designed a limited edition ukulele T-shirt which will be on sale at the festival. His grandson Jimi, a student at Ponsonby Intermediate School, started playing the ukulele last year and hasn’t stopped since. Jimi got his famous grandad enthused and now three generations of the family can be heard strumming away of an evening.

All proceeds from the sale of the Frizzell ukulele T-shirt will go towards the NZ Ukulele Festival Trust’s ‘Ukulele In Schools’ programme which provides ukuleles to schools, runs workshops and organises the annual NZ Ukulele Festival.

BNZ Ukulele Festival 2009
Mt Smart Stadium
No.2 Ground, Auckland
Saturday November21,
(Entry off O’Rorke Rd)
10am – 4pm
Rain or Shine

For more details about the festival line up visit:


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