Strumming for Scotland: Satin Strings to attend overseas festival

Students in Permian High School’s Satin Strings will soon start fundraising for a trip to Scotland and England in July 2019 to participate in the Stirling Bridge International Arts Festival.

The opportunity came through Culture Path Ltd. Its website says it has more than 40 years of experience in concert presentation, tour organization and event production in the professional, amateur and semi-professional fields.

Director of Orchestras Todd Berridge said it is the same group that organized Satin Strings’ trip to Canada in June 2017.

Berridge said the students will leave July 4, 2019, and the festival runs from July 6 through July 10. After the festival, an extra few days were added to visit England, he added.

“They said this would be the perfect opportunity for your kids, even more so than the Canada trip,” Berridge said.

The Stirling Bridge Festival is a five-day event where students learn “fiddle music” in the morning and perform in the evening, Berridge said.

Local charities are invited to the performance to collect donations for their organizations.

Participants will come from all over the United States, Canada, Scotland and Europe.

The cost is $3,000 per student, Berridge said, and they have almost a year to fundraise. He added that they would like to raise $50,000 or $100,000 so the students won’t have to spend as much.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I thought Canada was going to be once-in-a-lifetime. Oh my gosh, this is even better,” he said.

“It gets the word out about the program and what the kids are doing. To get international attention, it’s amazing,” Berridge added.

Satin Strings traveled to Ireland in 2012 and marched in a couple of St. Patrick’s Day parades. They won a Waterford crystal trophy for most entertaining performance from the Limerick International Band Championship.

“This has been a long dream of ours to take the kids to Scotland and play fiddle music with the people who invented it. It’s going to be intensive — intensive workshops during the day and performances at night,” Berridge said.

If anyone wishes to contribute, they may contact Berridge through his email address at todd.berridge@ectorcountyisd.org or send contributions to the school address, 1800 E. 42nd St., care of Berridge.

Students Alayna Lopez, Arwen Weaks and Halie Douglas are looking forward to the trip.

Lopez, 17, will be a senior in the fall and plays the violin; Weaks, is a 15-year-old violinist who will be a junior next year; and Halie Douglas, 16, plays the harp and will be a junior next year.

“It will be different performing there than Odessa. But at the same time, one thing I look forward to doing is playing music all over because everyone understands music no matter what language you speak. That will be cool,” Weaks said.

None of the students mind having to fundraise.

“We understand it takes a lot to get there and we work to be good in our performances, so in the same way, we’ll work to be able to get money to perform,” Weaks said.

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