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VIDEO: Langley Ukes strumming about love

Ensemble plays fundraiser concert on Saturday at the Chief Sepass Theatre

An expected sell-out concert in Fort Langley next weekend will help the Langley Ukulele Ensemble get to Hawaii this summer.

The students have been rehearsing six hours a week for the past month and a half to prepare for this spring show, their “All You Need Is Love” concert, coming to the Chief Sepass Theatre stage on Saturday, May 25, said senior ensemble director Paul Luongo.

“This is our big fundraiser performance for our much anticipated 27th annual tour to Hawaii and our performance residency at the Sheraton Waikiki,” Luongo said, noting the spring concert usually raises about $4,500 to $5,000 towards the $80,000 cost of the trip.

However, this show – thanks to venue sponsorship from BMO Willoughby – is expected to generate a little extra. Typically, the ensemble fundraises about half the cost, leaving the students and their families to cover the rest. This year, there are 26 students from the senior A ensemble making the trek.

The group has been performing at public and private shows throughout the year and selling their merchandise to raise money while sharing their music, Luongo noted. But the biggest fundraising push of all is typically this concert, which he shared late last week was nearing capacity.

He promises what he calls a musical odyssey for the audience.

“Experience a captivating musical journey, where melodies echo messages of love, happiness, hope, and peace,” Luongo elaborated.

By infusing those messages into their song selection, the audience will hear a blend of soulful gospel, folk, modern pop and rock.

“Our program not only resonates through your ears but also delivers a heartfelt aspiration: empowering youth as catalysts for change to overcome historical and present-day challenges,” Luongo added, noting the show will feature both the senior A ensemble with a special guest performance by Paul’s father, Peter, and his senior B group – a total of 50 kids performing that afternoon.

“Between the music telling a nice story and the video [edited together by one of the ensemble students], I think it’s going to be a real uplifting performance,” said Luongo, an ensemble alum who took over the helm of the organization back in 2013.

“It’s an entire repertoire, or set list that is new to the kids. There are very, very few tunes that fans will have heard [the ensemble play] before. It’s lots and lots of new music,” Luongo promised.

“Join us as we harmonize the tunes that are a powerful narrative of positivity and transformation,” he concluded, noting the concert is only being performed one other time – the following weekend – in Ladner. Many of the songs will also be performed this summer during their July trip to Waikiki.

In the meantime, the May 25 Langley concert is a matinee, with all 305 seats expected to be filled for the 3 p.m. performance.

Tickets for the spring concert range from $12 to $20, and are available through the ensemble’s website at: langleyuke.com.

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Langley Ukulele’s senior director Paul Luongo and his students will be putting on an “All You Need Is Love” theme concert in Fort Langley on Saturday, May 25. (Langley Uke/Special to Langley Advance Times)


Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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