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Langley ukulele community sees growth post-COVID

Spring Uke Camp will feature teaching component for the first time

For the first time in its 45-year history, the Langley Ukulele Association is developing a teaching component for its senior members.

The ukulele program was created in the 1970s in conjunction with the Langley School District. When budget cuts began in the ’80s and ’90s, the program persisted under the ukulele master Peter Luongo. It quickly grew from a dozen kids to more than 30 learning ukulele.

And soon, Langley became known as the “ukulele capitol” of Canada.

“The ukulele has gained a fair place in the music education field and music making field… A good deal of the notoriety that Langley brought to the instrument is still talked about and internationally is recognized and talked about among music educators,” Luongo said.

Now, the association has realized it needs to create more teachers through its programming.

“We used to take kids with an interest, foster that interest, and turn it into an opportunity – lots of kids have got a great benefit from that. What’s happened, especially post-COVID but it was starting to happen before, is we realized we need to grow our own players,” Luongo told the Langley Advance Times.

There is a larger beginner pool coming into the program, but not quite the same number of senior level players, he noted.

“The learning piece is the real paradigm shift… now we’re looking to have kids in the community to take full advantage of the full music education program we’re offering,” he said.

Luongo has already started teaching some of the senior ensemble members to teach the junior groups.

“I can’t grow the program until I have more teachers… teaching music literacy. We are a full music program,” he said.

The spring Uke Camp is one such opportunity, Luongo said. It’s currently open for registration, and the camp runs during the first week of spring break from March 18 to 22.

Kids will learn to play the ukulele and perform for their parents on the last day of camp, and receive a Uke Camp T-shirt, Luongo explained. Ukulele rentals are available for an additional cost.

“Here is a great opportunity for us to start that next generation of kids [by] giving them an opportunity,” he added.

During the pandemic, the association saw numbers drop from an average of 40 kids to about 20 entering the program, Luongo estimated. Now, the numbers have picked back up again and he’s expecting to cap out the upcoming Uke Camp at 50 members.

“The most powerful part of a learning environment is the synergy that happens… camp is a great opportunity with little pressure and good instruction,” he said.

“We’re about trying to give your kid a chance to learn through playing and through experiencing the sharing of music with others.”

Those interested in teaching in the ukulele program are encouraged to reach out to Luongo at

Parents interested in enrolling their kids in the spring Uke Camp can still do so at

The first concert of the year called ‘All You Need is Love’ is on Saturday, May 25, at 3 p.m.

Tickets start at $14 and can be bought online at

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley ukuleleists send message of hope to Maui wildfire victims

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm honoured to focus my career in the growing community of Aldergrove and work with our many local organizations.
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