Since 1994, the Saline Fiddlers have undeniably set the standard for extracurricular music programs in the United States. The group began with a simple idea: introduce an alternative style of music education to public school students. It has grown into a model of instruction and motivation that is being emulated across the nation. Yet more importantly, it is a brilliant example of what young adults can and will achieve if given a direction and the opportunity to explore, and pursue their own interests.
The Saline Fiddlers astound audiences every time they take the stage. They are fully equipped, amplified and present an energetic, polished stage show that includes music, song and dance from the traditions of American folk fiddle, bluegrass, jazz, western swing and Celtic music. Their repertoire, which grows every year, includes many pieces composed or arranged by an exceptionally talented artistic team, headed up by Artistic Director Brad Phillips.
With each passing year the appeal of the Saline Fiddlers grows. The members continue to work independently and as a group polishing existing skills and learning new material. While primarily an instrumental ensemble, Saline Fiddlers adjusts to the individual talents of its members. Over the years the group has introduced many fine singing voices, as well as the immensely popular Fiddlers Cloggers, choreographed by Sheila Graziano.
The Saline Fiddlers represent the positive side of today's youth while reflecting the rural traditions of Saline, Michigan and ultimately the country. The performers, all students at Saline High School, earn their places through competitive auditions based on musical ability and personal integrity. Each Fiddler balances academics, sports, school organizations, church activities, jobs and social lives with this demanding commitment to music.
The Saline Fiddlers' history includes more than 1000 performances all over the United States and several foreign countries. They have been honored to perform three times at the White House and twice on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, as well as at the State of Michigan's Presidential Inaugural Ball in January 2001. The Fiddlers have shared the stage with many top artists as well as other student groups. Especially gratifying is the number of student fiddle organizations, which have started around the country inspired by the Saline Fiddlers. The Saline students look forward to sharing workshops and concerts with these new fiddle ensembles.
The Fiddlers' tours have spanned the United States from the east coast to the west coast, down south and up north, as well as several trips abroad. In the summer of 2013 the Saline Fiddlers toured Great Britain, including Saline's sister city of Brecon, Wales, and gained many new British, Scottish and Welsh fans with an appreciation of this very American style of music.
Recent domestic tours have included New York City, Boston, California, Nevada, Florida, southeastern states (where Bluegrass was born) and many other places where the Saline Fiddlers have positively changed people's lives. The summer of 2006 took them to Mississippi's Gulf coast, where they gave a series of hugely-appreciated benefit concerts for storm-weary residents and relief workers from all over the country. The Saline Fiddlers maintain a year round performance schedule, averaging 80 performances each year.
The Saline Fiddlers have released numerous recordings since 1996; profits from the sale of the recordings help finance the organization. Typically a new recording is released every two years.
The Saline Fiddlers are a nonprofit music education and performance organization. Supported by hours of volunteer labor, donations from fans and sponsors, sales of recordings and fees for performing, the Fiddlers also provide community service by means of music in and around their hometown.