42nd Annual Saw Festival: The winner is…

The second weekend of August is always the time for the International Musical Saw Festival, the longest running saw festival in the world. The festival is free, and there is a contest open to saw players of all skill levels. This year’s festival was great fun, with players from all over the country and a special guest from Japan, Mio Higashino, who won first place in the contest, playing “Heritage Waltz.” She played beautifully, impressed everyone with her skill, and brought a couple of her talented friends along. She is now the International Musical Saw Festival First Place Champion. Congratulations, Mio!


The second Place Prize went to Tim Martin from Florida. Tim won playing “Salut D’Amour” by Elgar.   


There were quite a few contestants this year.




The contestants gathered after the awards. Congratulations to everyone!


After the contest came an afternoon of entertainment by the contestants and other groups, including the Blacklock family band, Three Drink Circus, The Wildcat Cowboys, with saw festival president Art Peterson.



There were many other entertainers including virtuoso saw players and judges Tom Spearance, Joe Eding, and Cindy Webster. 


I also had the pleasure of performing with ukulele player extraordinaire Steven Strauss, while festival goers danced a bit. (Our friend Kenji played bass, but he seems to be missing from all photos.)

And finally, a few pictures of the potluck the night before. There was delicious food, great company, and music into the night.


So long until next year!

Many thanks to Tim Martin for sharing some of his photos of the festival with me. If you have any you would like me to add to this page, I’d be happy to do so. Just let me know!



Rowena Southard, your blog hostess, is a musical saw enthusiast who lives in California. She loves all kinds of music and has a special fondness for unusual instruments.