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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Largest Guitar Ensemble

Concordstock sets world record for Largest guitar ensemble

CONCORD, CA, USA--On Tuesday night at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord, 2,052 people came from all over to play Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" simultaneously, setting the new world record for "largest guitar ensemble."

The record-breaking performance was part of Concordstock, a bevy of events all summer to celebrate 20 years of music in Concord. Photo by Contra Costa Times.

"We got 2,052 and it's all documented," said Jim Ocean, producer of Concord's "Music in the Park" program.

Country Joe McDonald, a Bay Area 60's iconic musician, led the crowd in "This Land is Your Land" by Woodie Guthrie. The Berkeley musician says he chose “This Land is Your Land,” because he needed a simple tune to lead an expected crew of more than 2,000 guitar-toting guests in song.

“It’s socially significant but not considered radical,” McDonald said in an interview about the Woody Guthrie song that was written more than 65 years ago. “It’s a song that most people know,” McDonald said, adding that some consider the ditty to be the “unofficial national anthem of the Untied States of America.” 

An enthusiastic crowd filled with professional musicians and novices alike sang and loudly strummed along.

The previous world record for the "
largest guitar ensemble": 1,802 people played Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" in June 2007 in Leinfelden, Germany.

Concordstock '08: Largest guitar ensemble video 

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