The Langley Ukulele Ensemble will open the Harrison Festival of the Arts on July 11.

Langley Ukes Ensemble to open Harrison Festival of the Arts

The 36th annual Harrison Festival of the Arts, running from July 12 to 20 in Harrison Hot Springs, will offer audiences a distinctly Langley sound when it opens this weekend.

The first concert, Straight from the Valley, will feature some of the area’s most accomplished performing groups, including the Langley Ukulele Ensemble.

“I first heard of the Langley Ukelele Ensemble years ago while I was teaching at a music camp in Washington State,” recalled Harrison Festival artistic director, Andy Hillhouse.

“One of my fellow teachers, James Hill, whose playing took the humble ukulele to new heights, told me he discovered his passion for the instrument while playing with the Langley Ukes.

“When I saw and heard the group myself I understood why he was so good — they are highly accomplished and disciplined, but more than that, they are a lot of fun.”

During its more than 30 years of its existence, the LUE has been playing arrangements of pop, classical and folk music with precision, dexterity and a sense of fun.

The 19 ensemble members range in age from 12 to 21 years and are students attending middle school, secondary or post-secondary institutions.  Performing as many as 80 concerts per year, they have traveled throughout Canada and the US, as well as to Japan.

The group is now led by Paul Luongo, son of Peter Luongo who led the group for 33 years. Following their performance in Harrison, they will be heading to Waikiki, Hawaii, the land most associated with this small but much-loved instrument.

“We are incredibly honoured to be hosting their send-off gig before they leave for one of their regular visits to the ukes spiritual home,” says Hillhouse.

“We also look forward to having their intermediate group perform as part of our Children’s Day activities Wednesday, July 16.”

Also performing at the July 11 opening concert will be UFV Bhangra Club and fiddle family The Sabir Sisters.

Evening Concerts feature the likes of acoustic blues master Eric Bibb, Zimbabwe’s next generation of hope Mokoomba, Mexican singer-songwriter Quique Escamilla and award-winning contemporary pipers Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson.

Tickets to the 36th annual Harrison Festival of the Art can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604-796-3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison. For schedules or more information,  go to harrisonfestival.com.

Just Posted

Spartans clinch first place in Pacific Division with win over UBC

It was ‘a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry’ coach says

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

UPDATE: Abbotsford murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Man who sexually assaulted teen in Abbotsford is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

LETTER: Retired firefighter defends union’s election involvement

In rebuttal to another letter writer’s stance on firefighter involvement in municipal politics.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read