Levin Mall witnessed an enchanting transformation as the spirited strums of ukuleles filled the air, turning the ordinary scene into an extraordinary flash mob orchestrated by the Horowhenua Ukulele Group (Hug).
Gathering at noon with a squad of 40 ukulele players, Hug embarked on a spontaneous musical performance that captured the hearts of onlookers. As the clock struck 11:30 am, the first notes of “Midnight Special” emerged from the strings of one player, soon joined by another, and yet another, culminating in a harmonious symphony that resonated through the mall.
Their repertoire echoed with melodies like “Blackboard of My Heart,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “Down By The Riverside,” drawing an enthusiastic crowd that couldn’t help but be swept away by the spirited display. Passersby paused their journeys to revel in the musical spectacle, offering their applause and appreciation for this delightful impromptu performance.
This historic event marked Levin’s inaugural ukulele flash mob, aligning with similar harmonious gatherings that have sprouted worldwide. The phenomenon reflects the power of music to unite communities, transcending geographical boundaries.
Hug’s inception a year ago, courtesy of expatriate Kiwis Bob and Cathy returning from Melbourne during lockdown, has transformed into a thriving musical movement. The infectious love for music and ukuleles has burgeoned, with 34 regular Hug members celebrating their shared passion.
The movement has sparked weekly concerts at Levin’s library, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, drawing enthusiastic crowds and fostering a sense of togetherness. A Monday singalong event, open to the public, has also found a place in the hearts of many, with up to 60 participants from diverse walks of life coming together to revel in song.
At its core, Hug centers on the joy of music and the camaraderie it cultivates, attracting a broad spectrum of participants, including retirees who find solace and delight in the ukulele’s cheerful chords. Through the strings of these unassuming instruments, the Horowhenua Ukulele Group has managed to weave a tapestry of connection and merriment that resonates deeply within the hearts of its members and the community at large.