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  • Queensland Music Festival

The World's Biggest Orchestra! by Erica Hart



“I became personally overwhelmed to hear the string section play the opening of Ode to Joy. I could not stop the tears of absolute joy streaming down my face. Then when the brass entered, I was just blown away...I was playing my trumpet that I have had since I was 7 years old and the reason I learnt trumpet was because my brother Jack played the cornet in his school band. His daughter was beside me on Saturday (my niece) and I had been her original music teacher. My brother recently died and so to be there was a huge emotional journey for us both. I dedicated the performance to my brother Jack Schlink and am grateful for his musical influence in both our lives.” Marita Schlink


In 2013 Queensland Music Festival staged the World’s Biggest Orchestra and musicians flocked to Suncorp Stadium in their thousands determined to break the record held by Vancouver Symphony since 2000. Players young and old, school bands, a solitary English horn player, hundreds of drummers and triangle players, mass strings and of course hundreds more playing trumpets and horns. What a day! Brisbane has never seen such a gathering of musicians of this scale ever before or since. To be awarded the title World’s Largest Orchestra in the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ was a momentous day in Queensland Music Festivals’ 20 year history. This is at the heart of what we do, by bringing so many musicians together Queensland Music Festival unites in a spirit of music and fun...and then to achieve the award was a special moment for all participants that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.


The “World’s Largest Orchestra” consisted of 7,224 musicians. Conducted by James Morrison, the musicians performed a medley of tunes including Banjo Paterson’s iconic Waltzing Matilda, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Queen’s We Will Rock You with crowds of supporters who lined Suncorp Stadium to cheer them on.


Queensland Music Festival not only took the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the World’s Biggest Orchestra, but also The Australian Book of Records title for the “Largest Brass Ensemble”, “Largest Woodwind Ensemble”, “Largest Clarinet Ensemble” and “World’s Largest Orchestra”.


Queensland showed the world the strength and power of Queensland’s musical community.


For more 20th Anniversary stories click here.

Queensland Music Festival 2019
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