[Harp-L] Guinness World Record Harmonica Band
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- Subject: [Harp-L] Guinness World Record Harmonica Band
- From: Headly Westerfield <headlyw@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 06:51:09 -0400
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Mackie's record harmonica effort documented for Guinness world records
by JEFF CHEW
SEATTLE -- Harmonious harmonicas -- up to 1,706 of them -- helped land
Quilcene music man Andy Mackie in the Guinness Book of Records over the
``It was so special. It almost brought me to tears, just looking out there
and looking at all those people,'' a tired Mackie said Monday afternoon.
``It was watching all these families coming to the tent and the entire
family learning how to play and walking away, promising to teach someone
So moving was the event for Mackie, he vows to return to Seattle's
Northwest Folklife Festival in 2006.
``I hope to come back next year and go for 5,000,'' he said.
Sunday's record was set from the Folklife's Fisher Green Stage at the
Seattle Center. It topped the former record of 851 harmonicas in unison set
Mackie supplied 2,000 Hohner harmonicas to participants of all ages who
crowded around the 66-year-old East Jefferson County cowboy to help make
The goal was to form the biggest harmonica band and play ``Twinkle, Twinkle
Little Star'' as long as possible.
They came in at 13 minutes, 22 seconds.
``I actually could have went longer, except they needed the stage,'' Mackie
The band only needed to play continuously for five minutes to qualify for
About 3,000 people of all ages gathered to be part of a record-smashing event.
Although the event's organizer, Port Townsend resident Robert Force,
meticulously documented and enlisted videographers to record the event, the
final decision rests with Guinness, the publisher of the seminal book of
``I really knew we'd break the record, but I didn't expect to double it,''
Mackie said with a chuckle.
The experience gave him the opportunity of meeting people from all over,
even receiving an invitation to teach students in Nepal.
``I physically can't go over there. The altitude would be too much,'' said
Mackie, adding that instead he wants Force, a music educator with
Washington State University's Jefferson County extension, to take the trip.
Force on Monday said he documented the event as close to Guinness
specifications as possible, even bringing in Dr. Niels Andersen as the
Andersen kept track of the event's time and acted as an observer.
``He will write a letter (to Guinness) with his impeccable scientific
background,'' said Force, to document his observations of the harmonica event.
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