No strings – these Stubbington kids have the ukulele record!

UKE CAN DO IT! Pupils at Crofton Anne Dae Juniors play their ukuleles.  Picture: Steve Reid (114369-942)
UKE CAN DO IT! Pupils at Crofton Anne Dae Juniors play their ukuleles. Picture: Steve Reid (114369-942)
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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MUSICAL youngsters strummed their way to a new record when they put on the largest simultaneous ukulele playing event in the south east.

A total of 106 children from Crofton Anne Dale Juniors in Stubbington, performed in harmony as they played through a range of uplifting tunes for half an hour non-stop – smashing the previous record of 90 people.

Ukele Boogaloo and Play My Uke were among the cheery songs that entertained parents and staff who enjoyed the fruits of 12 weeks’ worth of diligent practice.

Megan Schroeder, 11, one of the star performers, said: ‘It was so much fun.

‘We learned so many songs and we had a great time playing in front of our parents.

‘I feel proud to have beaten the record of ukulele players – I’ve never been involved in anything on this scale before.

‘The nice thing about the ukulele is that it’s an instrument you can enjoy with your friends.

‘I bought my own as I enjoyed the lessons we get at school so much, and I plan to take it with me to secondary school and play even more.’

Tilly Alston, nine, picked up the ukulele for the first time this year.

She said: ‘I had a great time today, even though I was a bit nervous before the concert.

‘We’ve been practising hard and I think the performance was the best we’ve ever played.

‘The atmosphere was really good, and our parents were cheering us on in the audience.’

For three years, Crofton Anne Dale has bought into Hampshire Music Service’s Listen 2 Me programme, which offers lessons in a range of instruments including the ukulele.

So for the first time this year, every single year group had been given the chance to learn the instrument – which was how so many children were involved in the challenge.

Head James O’Brien said: ‘The concert was fantastic and we are delighted to have broken the previous record.

‘Music is so important for our school and ukuleles are particularly popular.’

He added: ‘I don’t play it myself but perhaps I will get a ukulele for Christmas.’