Assistant Director Luke Panning

Luke Panning

LUKE PANNING began studying violin at the age of five. When he was nine, his family moved from West Michigan to Southern Indiana and he began studying under the tutelage of Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner at Indiana University, Bloomington, with the Junior String Academy. It was during this time that he was exposed to and began playing traditional folk and fiddle music. After moving back to West Michigan, Luke began lessons with Mihai Craioveanu of Hope College. Luke attended Hope College and continued with Mihai through the duration of his time there. He graduated in 2013 with degrees in Music and Business Management.

In addition to his classical aptitude, Luke has toured the country with his family band, FiddleFire, has taken top awards at fiddle contests in several states, arranged for and performed with a contemporary jazz combo through college, has recorded for several local and national artists, and has given several masterclasses on fiddling, improvisation, and arrangement. Luke continues to play with his family band and musicians around Ann Arbor. He is enlisted as a noncommissioned officer in the 126 Army Band in which he tours with the concert band, marching band, and the country/rock ensemble as a electric violinist, vocalist, and synth/keyboardist.

Luke tries to let his experiences across diverse genres and varying musical settings guide his interaction with the Saline Fiddlers. Often, the string instruments are misconceived as being relevant in strictly classical settings. While classical training and performance are imperative to creating the foundation for successful musical growth, Luke wants to break the stereotypes and expose the world of possibilities to the next generation of students.