Venezuelan musicians pursue world’s largest orchestra record

CARACAS (Venezuela) -- Hundreds upon hundreds of violins, violas, and double basses rang at Venezuela's military academy on Saturday. Then woodwinds joined the fray, and brass, and percussion joined the ranks. Thousands of musicians, mostly young children and teenagers, had one goal: to set the record for the largest orchestra in the world.

Venezuelan musicians pursue world’s largest orchestra record

CARACAS (Venezuela) -- Hundreds upon hundreds of violins, violas, and double basses rang at Venezuela's military academy on Saturday. Then woodwinds joined the fray, and brass, and percussion joined the ranks. Thousands of musicians, mostly young children and teenagers, had one goal: to set the record for the largest orchestra in the world.

All the musicians were connected to the country’s youth orchestra network. They performed a Tchaikovsky piece lasting approximately 10 minutes outdoors, under the supervision of independent supervisors. This was in order to verify that not less than 8,097 instruments were simultaneously playing, breaking the current record. The El Sistema music network in the country had hoped to bring together 12,000 musicians.

Angele Barraoeta (15-year-old viola playing player) said, "This means all those years that I've spent with the orchestra were worthwhile, all those hours rehearsing, all those hours practicing which were many," Angele Barraoeta added. Angele is a regional group of approximately 230 people and has been part of The System for over four years.

She added, "So many people around your," It's an amazing feeling to be part in something historic. We hope to break this record."

Guinness World Records will decide within 10 days if a record has been set. Each supervisor was assigned a group to watch during the record attempt. To set a record, musicians had to play together for five minutes of Tchaikovsky’s "SlavonicMarch" during which time more than 8,097 were required.

KPMG's Venezuelan subsidiary will audit the results. Ramon Ostos, managing partner, said that the record is from a Russian group who played that country's national song.

They were between 12 and 77 years old and wore black pants, white shirts, and pandemic-mandated masks. The repertoire featured "Venezuela", a South American country's national song, and Pedro Gutierrez’s "Alma Llanera," which Venezuelans consider to be their unofficial anthem.

To facilitate counting, each musician received a numbered bracelet with a seat assignment based on the instrument they used. They also learn music through the "SlavonicMarch" program. They began rehearsals with their regional groups two months prior to the concert.

"If a string breaks I don't stop. Director Enluis Montes reminded musicians that if the partture falls, they play by memory." Their enthusiasm was evident as they moved rhythmically in their chairs.

They had to adhere to certain rules, including not sharing their instruments and having to be directed by professionals. Andres David Ascanio abreu was the recipient of this honor. He was projected onto large screens so that all musicians could see his instructions.

Abreu stated, "Well, it's a huge challenge, of course. It's also very complex. But, it's full of great pride and of great passion." "And today, we see here is a minimal representation" of who we are: El Sistema has 1,012,000 children or young people.

The "Slavonic Marron" was over. After the concert, the musicians let loose with cheers and waved Venezuelan flags.

They exclaimed, "The largest orchestra in all of the world."

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