Over 350 people packed Trinity Lutheran Church LIC, turning the festival into a standing room-only event, with audience resorting to sitting on the floor in front of the first pew. Though the festival was scheduled to start at 2 p.m., audience members started filling the church as early as 12:30 p.m., eager to secure themselves a good seat.
The youngest musical saw player was 15-year-old Peter Harrison, who came with his grandfather from North Carolina. Musical saw players came from all over the country and globe to participate, including two from Japan, three from Germany, four from Canada, one from Belgium, and one from France.
Fifty-three saw players lined up to put their signature on a document for Guinness, and then proceeded to play “Ave Maria” ccompanied by Judy Dimino on church organ and conducted by James Bassi.
Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, the festival's founder and director, said she will send all the evidence to Guinness in London by the end of this month. Once the evidence is received by Guinness, they will notify her in four to six weeks about the acceptance of the new world record. The current record was set in Poland last year with 27 musical saw players, meaning the Astoria even is likely a new world record.
Video and photos from the festival can be viewed here.