Advance readers could win an autographed copy of the new album reading this story

Private uke concert, lessons up for grabs in Langley

A ukulele gala Saturday night marks 35 years of playing and the release of the ensemble’s newest album.

Looking for ukulele lessons from the notorious uke man himself, Peter Luongo, or maybe from Luongo junior? Maybe both?

“Two ukulele maestros for the price of one,” the senior member of the family suggested. “For the right price, of course!”

Such a chance is up for grabs this weekend, during the Langley Ukulele Ensemble’s gala.

To mark the musical association’s 35th anniversary, and to celebrate the release of the ensemble’s first album (Ukulele: The Next Generation) under new leadership – namely Luongo junior (Paul Luongo, now the ensemble’s musical director), they’re hosting a concert and live auction, served up with wine and hors d’oeuvres inside the Preston GM showroom on Saturday, June 4.

It will not be a huge gala event with dinner and all the fixin’, explained Peter, who is no longer directing but has remained on the board. But rather a more fun event.

Also up for grabs in the live auction is a student concert, at someone’s home or work, featuring the ensemble.

Gala tickets are $50 and available at 604-340-8537 or langleyukes.com.

The goal of this event, Peter said, is to raise $10,000 in one night, with much of that money expected to come from the live auction – and most likely the student concert.

“You better have something larger than  500-square-foot apartment,” in which to host the concert, Peter suggested, explaining the 24-member senior ensemble will offer up 45-minute show that “promises to blow the roof off.”

All money raised will go to the group’s long-time motto: “Enriching lives through music,” Peter said, noting some of the funds are specifically earmarked to sending the ensemble to Halifax next year for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.

An autographed copy of the new album is up for grabs, as well, to Langley Advance readers only.

Click here and email us. Give us your name, phone number, and community of residence. Most important, tell us about your favourite Langley Ukulele Ensemble show ever and why, and you’re in the running for a copy of this new album.

It’s a compilation of funk pieces, classical, and Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, peppered with a few 1950s pop tunes – added in for good measure, Peter explained.

“It’s all new music,” he added. “It’s [his son, and new director] Paul, putting his stamp on the new group.”

In the meantime, Saturday’s event is being held at the GM dealership, at Langley Bypass and 200th Street.

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. followed by the show at 7:15 p.m. The concert will book end the live auction in the middle.

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