Conventioneers strum for ukulele fame


POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Most, if not all, had never played the ukulele before.

But that did not stop 938 people from getting in tune to break the Guinness World Record as the largest ukulele ensemble.

They are in Honolulu for the 2009 La Quinta National Conference and strummed their ukuleles for one minute at the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Coral Ballroom yesterday for the record-breaking attempt. On Aug. 18, 2007, 401 people in Stockholm, Sweden, orchestrated the largest ukulele ensemble record.

La Quinta Inns & Suites is a hotel company based in Dallas.

Conference attendees included employees, franchise owners, general managers, corporate officials and their spouses. This is the first time La Quinta has held a national conference in Hawaii.

“;For a lot of our attendees, this is their first time they've ever been to Hawaii. There's nothing that really says the spirit of having fun than the ukulele. So our attempt here was to embrace Hawaii, embrace the culture that our company has and really go and set a new record, which is something our company is trying to do every day,”; said Chief Operating Officer Angelo Lombardi.

Kelly “;Kelly Boy”; DeLima of Kapena and the Kelly DeLima Ohana, along with daughter Kalena, led the crowd with their rendition of the song “;La Bamba,”; changing the words to “;La Quinta.”; Before they began, he quickly showed the large crowd how to strum the ukulele in three chords. When they started their record-breaking attempt, all instead strummed their ukuleles to no specific chord.

Each attendee was to sign a document to verify their involvement. Aside from the attendees, three people at the site were designated to verify the event occurred.

According to the Guinness World Record Web site, evidence is sent to London for verification. The process takes six months. If approved, La Quinta will receive a certificate for its achievement.