Excitement and anticipation abound as the Saline Fiddlers prepare to go overseas on their 2013 "Isle of Smiles" Summer Tour to Great Britain! On June 26, the crew of 27 high school age Fiddlers, 3 staff members and 8 chaperones will step on a plane in the USA and not get off again until they are in jolly, old England.
The Saline Fiddlers are going to do their best to “do it all” while they are there. They will be performing ten shows: two in Scotland, four in England and four in Wales. During these shows, they will be sharing the stage with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra, the Lothian Schools Strathspey & Reel Society, The Wardle High Folk Group, That’s All Folk!, Cèol Tire and The Jaywalkers. Performance venues include the Cardiff Millennium Center - the most visited tourist attraction in all of Wales.
They will enjoy five days in Saline’s sister city of Brecon, Wales. The hospitality shown to the Saline Fiddlers from the town of Brecon has been overwhelming. Lodging, meals, and many opportunities to perform have been arranged by the Brecon Town Clerk and Cathedral Choir Director. The Fiddlers will provide concerts at the beautiful solar powered Theatr Brycheiniog for Brecon’s school children and with the Aberhonddu Male Voice Choir at the Mountain Centre in the Brecon Beacons National Park. They will also be performing in the historic Brecon Cathedral with the Brecon Cathedral Choir, the Priory Church Primary School, the Cathedral Consort and the South Powys Youth Orchestra in a benefit concert to help bring the Brecon Cathedral Choir to Saline in July, 2014.
The Saline Fiddlers have worked in plenty of time to be tourists too—included in the itinerary are a hike in the Lake District of England; a stop at Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick, which is thought to date from around 3000BC making it one of the earliest stone circles in England; and a tour of Old Trafford Stadium, home to the famous Manchester United soccer team. They will explore the historic city of Edinburgh, Scotland where they will visit the Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia. They will also have the opportunity to climb “Arthur’s Seat”, an extinct volcano that is right in Holyrood Park, next to the Queen’s official Scottish residence.
In Wales, some of the highlights are a visit to Rhossili Bay on the southern coast of Wales (the 10th most beautiful beach in world according to the 2013 Travelers' Choice Beach Awards); the 13th century Caerphilly Castle, the largest castle in Wales; Big Pit Coal Mine to explore the economic roots of Wales; and a hike in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons National Park.
What tour to Great Britain would be complete without checking out London? So, after a quick swing though William Shakespeare's home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, they will have a chance to tour London and see the sights before they fly back to the USA.
The Saline Fiddlers visit has been very well received on the other side of the pond. The BBC will be promoting the Saline Fiddlers’ Tour and the group has received a number of requests for interviews with the students while they are in Great Britain. They will be doing demonstrations for primary school students and workshops with other performers and fiddlers. The Saline Fiddlers are excited that their music is stirring up so much anticipation and they are looking forward to performing for so many new people in distant lands.
The Saline Fiddlers want to thank all the donors and sponsors that made this trip possible; over 250 individual, foundation and corporate sponsors in all!
You can see the Saline Fiddlers and give them a send off greeting at the Saline Downtown Concert Series, sponsored by the Saline Main Street Association, on Thursday June 13th at 7:00pm. The show takes place on South Ann Arbor Street between Henry and US12. More info http://www.salinemainstreet.org/events/summer-music-series/