The folks at Banjo.com, in close cooperation with the promotions staff of The Atlanta Braves, are organizing an attempt to break the Guinness Book record for Largest Musical Instrument Ensemble – using banjo players! The event is billed as A Tribute To Earl Scruggs, and is scheduled for September 13, 2006 as a pre-game show at Turner Field in Atlanta, just ahead of the game between the Braves and the Phillies.
All banjo players are invited to take part, and not surprisingly, Foggy Mountain Breakdown has been chosen as the piece to be played for the record setting attempt. While all pickers are invited, only those who can demonstrate the ability to perform Foggy Mountain Breakdown can be counted towards the record.
Participants must register in advance, and will need to arrive at the stadium by noon on 9/13 in order to be a part of the attempt. Guinness Book rules in this ensemble category are quite strict, and the performers must be rehearsed and under the direction of a conductor in order for the record to be certified. There will be two short rehearsals that afternoon, and an orientation with Braves staff to ensure that the group can be quickly brought on and off the field for this pre-game show.
Instruments will be checked and supervised by stadium staff so that participants can also enjoy the game that evening.
John Drummond of Banjo.com is a banjo player himself, and his company is a retail operation providing instruments, accessories and instructional materials for banjo pickers. He is understandably excited about the event, and the opportunity to pay a tribute to Earl Scruggs, who has been invited to attend.
“I”ve enjoyed countless hours of picking, either by my hands or by someone else”s. I wonder if the banjo in the bluegrass genre would be where it is today, if not for Mr. Scruggs. The passion we all have for the banjo sound came from his fingertips.”
Drummond thanks his friends Jim Adkins and Brad Laird of the Cedar Hill band in Atlanta for the initial suggestion that led to the scheduling of this attempt.
You can find all necessary details about joining this record setting bid on the Banjo.com web site, including travel and accommodations information, and contact info for the Braves staff.
Thanks to our friend Rick Briggs who first brought this to our attention.