The Accidentals Cap Night of Music at Saline High School

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The audience in the Ellen A. Ewing Performing Arts Center at Saline High School was treated to an evening of music Wednesday as The Accidentals headlined a concert that also included performances by the Saline High School Orchestra and the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic.

The show opened with a set by the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, who will be back on the Ellen Ewing Stage Saturday for the annual Hometown Show with special guests Varsity Blues and the Saline Middle School Fiddle Club. (Tickets here). The Fiddlers are led by Artistic Director Sarah Vaughin.

Following the Fiddlers set, the Saline High School Orchestra performed one piece under the direction of Matthew Briere.

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The orchestra then backed The Accidentals for several songs before the indie folk-rock band wrapped it up with several original songs that ranged from contemplative, to rousing, to bright and poppy.

Savannah Buist playing her electric violin at SHS.
Michael Dause plays the drums for The Accidentals.
Katie Larson plays the electric cello.

The concert, funded in part by the Saline Music Boosters, wrapped up a day of music and learning for Saline High School students.

Members of the band held a workshop with the orchestra class earlier in the day.

"It was an absolute pleasure to explore their songcraft as orchestra director, working on their songs for the last couple weeks," Briere said. "And today we got to know their stories as they came into the school for the workshop. We got to hear some of their stories from the road."

The Accidentals have earned glowing reviews from NPR and Billboard and played festivals all over the country. But they started in a public school music program in Traverse Citty. Violinist Savannah Buist and Cellist Katie Larson raised their hands to volunteer to play at a music boosters concert - and the rest is history.

Buist said the band was glad to give engage the SHS students during Wednesday's workshop. Years ago, in Traverse City, Larson and Buist attended a school presentation by The Moxie Strings - a band fronted by female violinists.

"We saw a group called The Moxie Strings come in to do a workshop, so that convinced us that we could do this too. So it's really cool to keep that cycle going," Buist said.

Larson said the band talked to the orchestra students about overcoming fear and overcoming the kinds of adversity a hard-working band faces when it does 250 gigs a year.

"We had vans break down, trailers get stolen, vans get in accidents, violins destroyed. A million crazy things happened," Larson said, introducing the song, Rollercoaster, which is about the ups and downs of life on the road.

Drummer Michael Dause said he was making his return to Saline High School since 2012, when he performed in a choir festival.

For more information about The Accidentals, visit their website at https://www.theaccidentalsmusic.com.

For more photos from Wednesday's concert, click here.

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