Michael Servant breaks Guinness world record

Editorial Staff
October 8, 2009

Over the weekend of September 25 and 26, Michael Servant, organist of St. Mark's English Church in Florence, broke the Guinness world record for the longest organ-playing session. The previous record, held by Ingrid Irslinger of Norway, was 36 hours and 3 minutes. Servant broke her record by playing for 40 hours and 4 minutes.


Three nurses flew in from Scotland and England to be on-site medical staff, as mandated by Guinness guidelines, and more than 33 witnesses and stewards were on duty. The church, on via Maggio, was open all night and more than 300 people stopped in during the 40-hour period to watch Servant in action.


As Servant worked his way through the English Church Hymnal, he called out the numbers and many people joined in singing the hymns all through the night. Servant was allowed a five-minute break each hour, time which he could accumulate. Periodically he refueled on strawberry milkshakes and lasagna.

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