The ukulele master Peter Luongo

Though ukuleles usually reminds us of palm trees, hula skirts, and Hawaiian beaches the son of immigrant Italians, Peter Luongo has spent his adult life bringing international notoriety to the Metro region and Canada as a renown ukulele teacher and performer. The son of immigrant Italian parents, raised in East Vancouver, Peter spent his childhood learning to play the accordion. He and his younger brother, Tony spent their teen years performing as the house band at Orlando’s Gondola Restaurant on Commercial Drive until graduation from UBC offered the opportunity for Peter to become a full time teacher in the Langley School District.
There he began teaching ukulele to children as the school’s music program. Soon this developed into the formation of The Langley Ukulele Ensemble, a student performing ensemble that became internationally renowned. Under his tutelage the students traveled throughout B.C., across Canada, throughout the United States, to Japan, and annually to perform at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort where they performed each summer for the final 20 years of Luongo’s career. The ensemble’s accomplishments included performances at major festivals, international conferences, business and community functions, as well as presentations at major functions such as The 2010 Olympic’s Official Delegates’ opening and 3 Rotary International Conventions before audiences in excess of 10 000. In 2007, the group’s accomplishments and Luongo’s leadership were the main focus of an award winning documentary film entitled, The Mighty Uke.
Peter retired as a Principal in the Langley School District in 2013 and now spends time working with adult ukulele players along the west coast of Canada and the United States. Over his 34 year career he received multiple accolades and acknowledgements for his leadership, community service, and musical accomplishments.
His ukulele program has brought notoriety to the community, province, and country, but his greatest legacy is the imparting of leadership skills through music to hundreds of young Canadians.
This is clearly exemplified through the fact that a number of his students have gone on to become community leaders, including his son Paolo who now leads the Langley Ukulele Ensemble. Check out the Langley Ukulele Ensemble at www.langleyukes.com

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