- BC Games
Ukulele Ensemble baton passed from father to son
Think of it as Langley Ukes — The Next Generation.
With the retirement of longtime ensemble director Peter Luongo, the baton has been passed to his son, Paul.
Paul Luongo performed as part of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble for 11 years before returning to direct the senior B ensemble.
Now in his third year in that job, he is adding senior A group director to his resumé.
On Saturday, Oct. 19 Paul will make his public debut as director of the LUE, with a concert — titled Ukulele Masters in Concert — at Christian Life Assembly in Langley.
Audiences shouldn’t find the transition too shocking, he said. After all, much of what he’s learned about music and directing came straight from his father.
“You’ll get the same cheesy jokes,” said Paul.
It will just be a “younger, slightly taller Luongo, who still has slightly more hair” telling them, he quipped.
His style of direction is much like his father’s as well.
“I’ve been saying ... ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’”
Paul, 24, has been teaching ukulele since he was 16 years old.
He recently completed an undergraduate degree in education at UVic and is currently working on his practicum.
In December, he will begin applying for jobs with area school districts, he said.
It was this interest in education, combined with Paul’s natural ability to both play and teach music that spurred a conversation between father and son about the succession of the LUE.
“I started teaching band and building confidence and dad saw that,” said Paul.
Both men recognized that it was a natural fit.
Despite the fact it will be Paul’s first official show, the Oct. 19 concert, held at Christian Life Assembly, will be a musical tribute to Peter, who will step in and direct a few of the numbers he’s best known for, said Paul.
“It’s an opportunity for us to honour my dad and I think he’s done outstanding work over the years. I couldn’t be a more proud son.”
Ukulele Masters in Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the church at 21277 56 Ave. Tickets for the concert are available through Paypal or by calling 604-340-UKES (8537).
To learn more, go to langleyukes.com or check them out on Facebook.
Note: A section of 56 Avenue west of CLA is currently closed to traffic while the bridge across the Nicomekl River is replaced.
To get to CLA, concert goers should either plan to arrive in a canoe or approach the church from the east, using 216 Street.