Ukulele Ensemble plucked for plum gig

The audience represents a roll call of royalty, the nobility, heads of states, diplomats, and the creme de la creme of the sporting world.

And the Langley Ukulele Ensemble will be playing exclusively for them.

The audience will be members of the International Olympic Committee who will be entertained at a gala on Tuesday, Feb. 9, four days before the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Sure to be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the gala is Belgian orthopaedic surgeon Jacques Rogge, the president of the IOC.

Members of the IOC include Henry Kissinger, the German-born Nobel peace prize winner who was the U.S. Secretary of State during the Nixon administration; Princess Anne, an Olympic medalist in horse riding; Prince Albert of Monaco, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark; Princess Haya Al Hussein, an Olympic show jumper and daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan; Kenyan track sensation of the 1960s Kipchoge Keino; French skiing whiz Jean-Claud Killy, and Canadian lawyer, Dick Pound, a former vice-president of the IOC.

The invitation to play came out of the blue.

“The call came in on a Tuesday evening during rehearsal,” said Langley Ukulele Ensemble director Peter Luongo. As he repeated snippets of the conversation, the eyes of his young musicians “got bigger and bigger.”

Its the kind of exposure money can’t buy, as the concert will be beamed by satellite around the world, Luongo said, adding that the ensemble will perform right after an address by Rogge.

“The prospect of being seen and heard on the world stage . . . we are in awe,” said Luongo, who has led the ensemble since 1980.

“They could have picked anyone.”

The ensemble has played at music conferences at a growing number of international venues, and every year the ensemble spends two weeks in Hawaii, entertaining and teaching the four-stringed instrument.

Luongo will take 15 members of the senior ensemble to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Then it will be back to rehearsals for the group’s May 1 concert at Christian Life Assembly.

Just Posted

Langley’s Wyatt twins make Pan Am team

Wyatts back home after completing freshman year at University of Memphis

VIDEO: Beer lovers tip a few for Langley Rotary Clubs

17th Annual Tip ‘n Taste at Cascades Casino serves up craft suds for local charities

Former Langley school moved to new site for condo project

The old Murrayville Elementary’s core was shifted on its site

VIDEO: Langley couple’s home goes from worst to first

Penny and Leif Sogaard get home makeover on HGTV reality show

Cutting a path to a brighter future in Langley

Syrian refugee takes ownership of Ol’ Crow Barbershop in McBurney Plaza

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Alleged driver of semi-truck in fatal Burnaby hit-and-run identified

No charges have been laid and police say the driver is cooperating with the investigation

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Most Read