Staff Photo: Keith Farner Students from Hull Middle get ready to play a song so they can attempt to set Guinness Book of World Record.
DULUTH -- Once paperwork is filed, there may soon by 873 world record holders at Hull Middle School.
On Wednesday, the school's three orchestra teachers brought together students from Hull and Peachtree Ridge High School, along with teachers and administrators to try and be recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records. Playing in a field next to the school, the group played the song "Bile'em Cabbage Down" with violins, violas, cellos, basses and guitars in hopes they are the largest string instrument ensemble in the world.
"This is one of those fun times at school that these kids will remember their whole life," said assistant principal Dianne DiDio, who played a violin.
Teacher Dana Lu said the mark of 858 is currently set by Hillsborough County, near Tampa, Fla. To be officially recognized, the school had an option to fly someone from the Guinness headquarters in London, or fill out about 100 pages of paperwork. The teachers weren't sure when the record would be official.
Police and parent volunteers also were stewards for the event to ensure accuracy. And media coverage was a part of the application. Parents collected tickets that were given to the students for the official count.
Teacher Amanda McClellan came up with the idea, "just to get the kids excited about playing." She said each student would receive a certificate for being a world record holder.
"We love doing things like this to excited," McClellan said. "We know they won't play this instrument forever, so this is something that they can say they did at Hull Middle."
McClellan said they knew Hull had the largest orchestra in Gwinnett County, about 750 students, so they invited students from Peachtree Ridge to put them over the top for the record.
Seventh-grader Michelle Lee, who played the viola, said she's met a lot of new people during the buildup to the event during the school year. When Lee first heard about the idea, she said, 'Wow, that's pretty big."
"It was pretty awesome when we all played together," she said.