Erin's Journals

Monday, August 1, 2022

Just a thought… I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better. [William Faulkner]I

As Victoria is in the embrace of many live musical performances in honour of the long weekend, I wanted to share with you an experience we had a few weeks ago, my sister, her friend and I. We had the pleasure of a visit to the Royal BC Museum in downtown Victoria where admission was just five dollars, as some of the displays, particularly the Indigenous ones, had been packed up in anticipation of the closure of the museum for earthquake proofing. That plan fell by the wayside when departing premier John Horgan took a lot of heat for allocating so much provincial money that many thought should be better spent during hard times.

I’d have paid far, far more than five bucks to experience what was the highlight of our visit. For, upon entry, we heard music – live music – and followed the sounds to an auditorium just off the main vestibule. And there sat a dozen-and-a-half young people, ukuleles in hand, making the most wonderful music this side of the Hawaiian Islands.

Turns out they are the “A” group from the Langley Ukulele Association (in existence for over 40 years); there are other groups through which students pass and learn before getting to the top tier. Under the direction of Paul Luongo and led by his father for decades before him, this group also teaches children aged 8 to 11 to learn this most common but sweet four-stringed instrument (although we did see an eight-string in there). You can deep dive at

Our trio was mesmerized by the youth, the enthusiasm, the grace and humour of this 18-person ensemble and, most of all, by the exceptional musicianship. I recorded some of their performance, which was – to our regret and as you’ll see in a moment – witnessed by a very small group on a summer day. But what we lacked in numbers, we made up for in enthusiasm. And although I didn’t get the first verse of this song, enjoy “Bohemian Rhapsody” by this group of 12- to 18-year-olds from the BC mainland who ferried over to share their talent and joy. Oh, they’ve travelled farther than that: in various incarnations over the years, the group has performed in numerous places, including Hawaii, where the ukulele is as symbolic of the state as leis and swaying palm trees.

Do be sure to listen for the very last vocal chord of this Queen classic. That note you may hear sung, jumping in before “blows,” that’s me. I should have left it to the pros! But my heart was in the right place, even if that note wasn’t. You can watch and listen to it on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Enjoy and have a lovely holiday Monday. I’ll have another video journal next week. And please enjoy a sleep story tonight on Drift with Erin Davis…free, made possible by Kathy and Kim at Thank you and sweet dreams.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, August 1, 2022