PORT HADLOCK, Wash. — The new official Guinness world record for the world’s largest harmonica ensemble is 1,706, set at the Northwest Folk Life Festival in Seattle on May 29.
Washington State University Jefferson County Extension educator Robert Force, who helped organize the effort, says he has received official certification of the setting of the new world record from Guinness World Records LTD in London.
After reviewing documentation that included videotapes, photographs and participant registrations, Guinness certified that 1,706 people participated in the harmonica ensemble. The new record is more than double the previous record of 851 participants held by a Polish group.
Jefferson County 4-H leader Andy Mackie lead the ensemble at this year’s Folklife Festival in playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” continuously for 13 minutes, 22 seconds.
“This is not only a dream come true for Andy Mackie, but for the many kids he has reached through 4-H and the schools over the years,” says Force. “And everyone who registered and participated can now rightfully claim to be a Guinness world record holder.”
Mackie is an icon on the Olympic Peninsula for his work through 4-H and local school programs in teaching kids not only how to play but how to build their own guitars, dulcimers and other instruments.
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