#MACCMonday — The Grascals with Alternative Strings

The Grascals on the Grand Ole Opry (March 2017) – photo © LuAnn Adams

Each Monday between now and July 17 we will feature a report from Daniel Mullins about special performances set to occur during this year’s MACC.

The 2017 Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) benefits St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The multi-day musical benefit will take place at Hoover Y Park in Columbus, OH, July 19th-22nd. The event has raised $935,447.00 to help fight childhood cancer, and is hoping to reach their one million dollar goal at this year’s four-day event. For more information or to donate, visit them online.

Continuing our #MACCMonday series, we are highlighting another special event coming up at the 2017 Musicians Against Childhood Cancer event.

Every year at the MACC, Darrel Adkins likes to pair a popular bluegrass band with students from Centerville High School’s advanced orchestra program, Alternative Strings. Under the direction of Doug Eyink, Alternative Strings teaches high school students the music from such varied backgrounds as bluegrass, jazz, and Celtic traditions in a classroom setting with orchestral instruments. The results are outstanding. Over the past decade, these wonderful young people have performed with such bluegrass heavyweights as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IIIrd Tyme Out, Flatt Lonesome, Sierra Hull, and many more.

This year, Alternative Strings will be lending their talents to a special collaboration with The Grascals. “I’ve gotten to see them [Alternative Strings] work with Russell Moore and Flatt Lonesome and different things in the past, and now we’re going to do that this year,” says Grascals’ mandolin man, Danny Roberts. “It should be very fun. We’ve got some really neat songs that we think are going to fit in really well with them.”

The inclusion of a high school orchestra alongside legendary bluegrass, is just one example of Darrel Adkins ability to provided unexpected surprises at the annual bluegrass benefit. “One of the things that is always great about doing the MACC is being involved with the special things,” says Danny Roberts. “It’s an experience you won’t get anywhere else, and then you add in the Alternative Strings in with it, and it just makes it all extra special.”

The Grascals with Alternative Strings will take place Friday, July 21st at Hoover Y Park in Columbus. For more information on Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, check out www.musiciansagainstchildhoodcancer.com.

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About the Author

Daniel Mullins

Daniel Mullins is an IBMA award-winning journalist and broadcaster from southwestern Ohio, with an American Studies degree from Cedarville University. He hosts the Walls of Time: Bluegrass Podcast and his daily radio program, The Daniel Mullins Midday Music Spectacular, on the Real Roots Radio network. He also serves as the station’s music director, programming country, bluegrass, and Americana music.