Saturday night’s Hometown Show featuring The Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic and indie roots band The Ragbirds will see eight high school seniors take their home stage for the final time.
Class of 2017 members Hannah Struk, Emma Dester, Hanna Benedek and Manasa Dittakavi (fiddle), Tori Monge (cello), Evan Miller (drums), Alex Troyka (guitar) and Kirk Stow (bass) will lead the ensemble through crowd-pleasing American fiddle tunes like The Devil Went Down to Georgia and The Orange Blossom Special, as well as several new songs from The Fiddler’s upcoming album “Breakin’ It Down!,” which will be released this summer.
The Hometown Show will be held at Saline High School’s Ellen Ewing Auditorium with the music starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com and at the door. Adult admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students.
Performing in a nationally-recognized ensemble has been a transformative experience for many students. “Music has been the most influential part of my life and the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic has offered me many unique opportunities to experience it,” said Miller. “As a member, I’ve had the chance to explore new musical genres, tour the USA and collaborate with other musicians.” Added Stow, “I gained skills I'd never thought I'd have or even knew existed.”
While the thrill of performing for audiences in concerts, festivals and parades across the country ranks high on the list of career highlights, the seniors say the friendships they formed and the club’s family atmosphere stand out.
“This group is truly a family and I have created many valuable friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Struk. Added Monge, “The friends that I made in the first weeks of Fiddlers are some of the best that I have had in high school.”
Many of the Fiddlers plan to continue studying and performing music in college, but first the entire group will embark on an ambitious tour along historic Route 66 this summer. Between, June 27 and July 11, the Fiddlers are scheduled to perform in cities including Chicago, St. Louis, Albuquerque and Santa Monica, California.
“The time I dedicated to rehearsals, gigs, tours and camps are the best experiences I’ve had in high school,” said Dittakavi. Other Fiddlers share the same sentiment. “I love how engaged our audiences are and the energy the group has,” Benedek said.
Troyka added, “After being in the group since my sophomore year I’ve made tons of new friends and had the chance to perform at tons of really cool places, especially last summer during my first tour.”
To learn more about the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, visit salinefiddlers.com.