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Venezuelan musicians set world’s largest orchestra record

November 21, 2021 GMT
Members of the National Orchestra System play a 12-minute Tchaikovsky piece to try and break a Guinness World Record in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. The musicians, all connected with the country network of youth orchestras, played at a military base under the watchful eyes of hundreds of independent supervisors tasked with verifying that more than 8,097 instruments are played at the same time. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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Members of the National Orchestra System play a 12-minute Tchaikovsky piece to try and break a Guinness World Record in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. The musicians, all connected with the country network of youth orchestras, played at a military base under the watchful eyes of hundreds of independent supervisors tasked with verifying that more than 8,097 instruments are played at the same time. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
1 of 5
Members of the National Orchestra System play a 12-minute Tchaikovsky piece to try and break a Guinness World Record in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. The musicians, all connected with the country network of youth orchestras, played at a military base under the watchful eyes of hundreds of independent supervisors tasked with verifying that more than 8,097 instruments are played at the same time. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Thousands of Venezuelan musicians, most of them children and adolescents, have earned the title of the world’s largest orchestra.

The record was set by 8,573 musicians. Guinness World Records in a video released Saturday announced that the musicians, all connected to the country’s network of youth orchestras, earned the designation with a performance a week earlier of Tchaikovsky’s “Slavonic March.”

The musicians, ranging in age from 12 to 77, attempted the record during a patriotic concert at a military academy in the capital of Caracas. To set the record, more than 8,097 had to be tallied playing at the same time during a five-minute period of Tchaikovsky’s piece.

The network of orchestras known as El Sistema, or The System, assembled some 12,000 musicians for the concert. The repertoire included “Venezuela” by Pablo Herrero and Jose Luis Armenteros, the South American country’s national anthem and Pedro Gutierrez’s “Alma Llanera,” which Venezuelans consider their unofficial anthem.

More than 250 supervisors were each assigned a group of musicians to observe during the record attempt.

The previous record belonged to a Russian group that played that country’s national anthem.