Royal Albert Hall

Children Star in Ocarina Guinness World Records™ title

Primary School Children at a Barnardo’s Young Supporters’ Concert became Guinness World Records title holders at the Royal Albert Hall on 5th November 2013.

Children as young as five years of age led a total of 3,081 players to form the Largest Ocarina Ensemble in the world, smashing the previous record of 831 set in China three years ago.

Their seven-minute performance of Ode to a Joyful New Star was achieved after weeks of ocarina practice in schools across the UK, Gibraltar and Jersey, culminating in a short rehearsal together on the day. An audience of parents, friends and ocarina fans supported the children by learning to play together during the concert.

David Liggins, director of Ocarina Workshop®, taught everyone to play in just eight minutes and commented: “That was the fastest music lesson I’ve ever seen; the sound of over 3,000 people aged five to eighty all playing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was both amazing and surreal”.

Charities Music for All and The Schools Music Association, plastic experts Dudley Associates, Stanley L Hunt Printers and Signature Ribbon all joined forces with Ocarina Workshop to make the record attempt successful, equipping every single person in the Royal Albert Hall with music and an ocarina to wear around their neck.

Official adjudication by the Guinness World Records adjudicator brought the house down and the evening ended with a joyful and youthful rendition of Land of Hope and Glory in celebration of a great British achievement. All ocarinas and music were UK invented and made, winning more than just a world record back from China.

Proceeds from the event went to Barnardo’s.

Notes to Editors:

Ocarina Workshop was founded in 1983 to promote music in schools. More than a million children in the UK have played the ocarina as their first tuned musical instrument, with over 4,000 UK primary schools using ocarinas in their classrooms today.

Photos are available on request from

David Liggins, music teacher and the founder and director of Ocarina Workshop, is available for interviews. Please email: or call: 01536 415543 or 07766 535240 anytime.

The English four-hole ocarina was invented in London 50 years ago by John Taylor. The name ocarina – meaning “little goose” – was first given to a round-shaped flute in 1853 by the Italian, Guiseppe Donati. Variations of similar wind instruments, known as vessel flutes, have been around for thousands of years.


The event was sponsored by:

Dudley Associates The UK’s leading plastic mould manufacturer have made all the ocarinas for the Guinness World Records record attempt. The Leicestershire-based company’s services include product design and development, prototyping, toolmaking and plastic injection moulding.

Ocarina Workshop Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the English 4-hole Ocarina and 30 years of supplying ocarinas, ocarina teaching resources and music training to schools.

Schools Music Association The SMA has been working to strengthen music education in schools, representing music teachers across Great Britain for 75 years. This concert is a culmination of the SMA 75th Anniversary celebrations.

Music for All The charity works to promote the benefits of music to people of all ages and backgrounds, running initiatives such as the National Learn to Play Day.

Signature Ribbon Strings for the ocarinas will be provided by Signature Ribbon, who specialise in manufacturing ribbon, elastics and cord.

Stanley L Hunt Printers The Northamptonshire-based printing firm will provide all the sheet music for this Guinness World Records record attempt.






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