At the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, USA the Swallow Hill Music Association, Denver Film Society and Red Rocks hosted an audience of thousands in a attepmt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest music lesson.
Pete Wernick (Dr Banjo), Billy Nershi and Trace Bundy taught some 7,000 people to play and singÂ This Land Is Your Land and Sweet Home Alabama. Of the near-sellout crowd 815 were instrumentalists.
The event, organized by Denver’s Swallow Hill Music Association, was threatened all day by rain, but as the sun came out and the crowd swelled, the three performers, assisted by over 20 other music instructors, made the skies ring with handmade music.
It was a thrill and a challenge to lead so many people. We had a lot of guitars and mandolins, some banjos, a few saxophones, a trumpet, a harp, a vena (a large stringed instrument from India), and quite a few percussion instruments. All acoustic. We were amplified on stage, but we sometimes went quiet, so the crowd could be heard unamplified. That has got to be a unique sound! At one point, I had them just sing, and not play. I thought that was the best sound — everyone singing This Land Is Your Land without accompaniment – Pete Wernick
You can read the full story and here a radio broadcast on Pete Wernick’s website