Langley Ukes serve it up flashmob style

Tuning up for this weekend’s big concert, the Langley Ukulele Ensemble’s senior groups chose to forgo traditional rehearsal venues, and hit the streets and SkyTrains instead.

In true flashmob style, about 20 ukers – under the leadership of their new and much younger Luongo leader, Paul – spent the full day on Saturday performing impromptu concerts at SkyTrain stations, in a few train cars, and around Canada Place.

With the retirement last year of long-time uke leader Peter Luongo, his son Paul took over as music director for the two senior ensembles. And with the new blood comes new ideas, some that the kids are excited to try.

This was one of those new ideas.

“The students had a great time,” said Paul, laughing as he recalled some of the dumbfounded looks they received from transit users when the kids suddenly burst into song. Those looks, and the fierce applause, Paul said, made it all worthwhile.

The kids knew they had to practise for the upcoming show, but thanks to the cooperation of TransLink they were given permission to do it in a new, fun, and “totally engaging” way, Paul said.

It didn’t hurt, Paul added, that the mini concerts enriched SkyTrain users’ lives on a beautiful spring day – many of the listeners were obviously unfamiliar with the ukulele, but apparently appreciative of the show.

Langley’s Ukulele Ensemble performs the full concert in one spot this Saturday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in the Chandos Pattison Auditorium, 10238 168th St., Surrey. Tickets are still available at langleyukes.com.

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