Saline High School Performs with The Accidentals

Thanks to generous funding from several sources including the MASTA Outreach Grant, the Saline High School Orchestras had the opportunity to perform in concert with the Accidentals this past spring. The Accidentals, originally from Traverse City and now based in Nashville are described as a “female fronted, multi-instrumentalists, power trio”. Their music is dynamic and intelligent, a blend of Neko Case lyrics, Jack White rock, and Queen dynamic. It’s edgy, indie-folk influenced, pop rock. More importantly, to myself and my students, Sav Buist and Katie Larson perform and write their music on electric violin and electric cello respectively. Additionally, they have already prepared accessible arrangements for string orchestra and brought the sound equipment to successfully perform with orchestra and rock band. The challenge of learning music arranged from pop music was new for many students and at first they struggled with understanding what the final project was going to sound like.

On the day of the performance, we had our one rehearsal with the Accidentals and a workshop on creative string playing. In those two hours, students quickly became engrossed in the music making of the band and increasingly excited about learning from these dynamic artists. During the workshop, students were treated to a short history of the musicians and their journey from orchestra students to Nashville based recording artists. Then, Sav and Katie worked with Saline musicians to improvise on simple chord progressions and demonstrated how electric instruments could be used to find new sounds. As the school day and the workshop ended, students were invited to sample using the electric instruments that the Accidentals used in concert. The concert was a blur of great music making, and the audience was treated to an exciting show including songs from the Accidentals latest recordings, Vessel and the Time Out EPs. This concert collaboration had previously been planned for April 2020 and frankly after two school years dramatically altered by Covid, having this concert to enjoy was a tremendous win for students. Upon the start of the 2022-2023 school year, students often reference their experience with this event which demonstrates the lasting impact of working with relevant guest artists. 

Thank you MASTA for helping to make this event a possibility.