Local News

Louisburg Whistles a Happy Tune

Posted April 27, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Lots of folks were whistling happy tunes here this weekend, and even more were listening. Puckers were plentiful at this, the International Grand Whistling Championship at the 24th annual International Whistlers' Convention and Music Festival.

Contestants are all ages, and they make their way to this rural North Carolina town from various countries.

Participants puckered up to perform in popular music, classical or drama divisions.

This year's second place winner in the women's division is from Quebec, Canada.

A nurse, Madeleine Delisle says she initially took up whistling as a child so she could make friends with the birds. Today she cites whistling's therapeutic value. As an asthmatic, she believes that practicing her whistling also improves lung capacity.

Another winner, Mike Cooney, is also Canadian. He said he wanted to take a more active role in music other than just listening to a stereo. So he opted for whistling.

Cooney acknowledged that becoming a world-class whistler is not accomplished overnight. He spent months perfecting his pucker and wetting his whistle.

To help mark the event, the governor declared this Happy Whistlers' Week. Presumably, he just had to sign the official proclamation -- not whistle it.