Local business owner Thomas Silkman of Flint Hills Music, 715 Commercial St., has a new accolade to hang on his wall. Silkman broke the current World Record for most guitars strung and tuned in one hour last Friday with 226 strings, which is the equivalent to 37 full guitars.
Silkman, aided by his crew, broke the world record in 49 minutes, breaking the previous record by 43 strings. The previous record was 183 strings.
“I couldn’t believe it when somebody said we were on the 15th guitar,” Silkman said. “I thought we had just started the thing. I got into a rhythm and time flew by.”
Kendra Briggs, an assistant, helped with tuning. Briggs got her bachelor of arts in music performance from Kansas State and her masters in music performance from Emporia State.
“For tuning, you actually had to be officially trained in music,” Briggs said. “We went through a lot of of tuners before we found what was the fastest at finding the tune.”
Silkman’s crew helped him with a variety of different tasks, including ferrying completed guitars away to make room for more and helping tune and string.
The crowd watching the spectacle often shouted words of encouragement to Silkman and his crew throughout, and as time progressed, they grew louder. When time was officially called, onlookers erupted in cheers, noisemakers and many high fives.
Evidence must be sent to Guinness before his success is officially recognized, according to Silkman. Once that is reviewed and accepted, Emporia will officially be the home of a Guinness World Record holder.
Michael Hall, a student at Emporia High School, said that Silkman breaking the record was inspiring for him.
“This was really cool to watch because I’m thinking about trying to break a record too,” Hall said.
Hall said that he wants to beat the World Record for the most straws stuffed in his mouth. That record currently sits at 495 straws.