Bow-Dacious String Band shows off wide repertoire here

Bow-Dacious String Band shows off wide repertoire here

March 22nd, 2009 by Elizabeth Ryan in Local Regional News

Staff Photo by Margaret Fenton -- Members of the Bow-Dacious String Band, a children's string ensemble from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, entertained a small crowd outside the Tennessee Aquarium Sunday afternoon with help from director Robin Kearton, far right. The children, ages 6-17, played a variety of pieces as locals danced in the plaza to folk songs and old-time waltzes.

Staff Photo by Margaret Fenton -- Members of...

The Bow-Dacious String Band is more than a group of children playing guitar, violin, mandolin cello and banjo, director of the Urbana, Ill.-based ensemble Robin Kearton said at a concert in Chattanooga on Sunday: It's a community in progress.

"I have this philosophy that all the parts are important," Ms. Kearton said. "That's why we call ourselves a band and not a string orchestra."

Started in 2003, the group has about 50 musicians between the ages of 5 and 18 who meet every Sunday to perform a wide repertoire of world music, such as old-time blues, French, Cuban, classic rock and bluegrass.

They took their act on the road this week as part of a three-state tour, which included a stop in Atlanta for the National String Teachers Conference, where Ms. Kearton presented her method of uniting students at all ages and skill levels.