Festival Winner And Fun For Everyone!

Hi everyone! The 2023 International Musical Saw Festival was another great success this year. There was a potluck, contest, music, great company, and unbridled enthusiasm for the saw. This wonderful event has been going on for over 40 years. If you ever get the chance to attend, don’t miss it. You’ll see amazing performances.


So many performances


Contest winner 

The grand prize winner of the contest this year was Pam Elder, who played a beautiful rendition of “Cirkus Finnemag” by Benny Andersson Orkester. For her winning encore, she played “Song to the Moon” by Dvořák. Both pieces were beautiful.

Pam playing her winning rendition of “Cirkus Finnemag.” Hooray, Pam!


 And here are all the winners and judges

1st Place – Pamela Elder

2nd Place – Rowena Southard

3rd Place – Lou Mannick

Unique Presentation – Donnie Hodges and Dilly

Best Entertainer – Lou Mannick

Youth Champion – Mary Kato

Traveled the Farthest – Steve Whang

Judges – Thomas Spearance, Cyndy Webster, and Gerald Reynolds

Contestants show off their form     


In addition to the contest every year, we all have the opportunity to hear great saw players from all over. Here is a marvelous rendition of “The Flower Duet” from Lakmé by judge Cyndy Webester and former saw champion Caroline McCaskey.


This is “IMG_3582” by Rowena on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.


And here’s a fun set from judge and long-time Santa Cruz busker Thomas Spearance and his band Two Bar Three. You can usually see Thomas playing in downtown Santa Cruz. If you see him, say hello.

TWO BAR THREE – 2023 California Musical Saw Festival

No Description

The Blacklocks are all talented musicians, and you can hear them play one of their songs in this video from the festival a few years ago.


Say Darlin’ Say

No Description




The traditional “Chorus of Saws” and a fond farewell 


This is “IMG_7032” by Rowena on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Saw Players On The Lam Until Next Year
A musical saw traffic jam at the end of the day. So many musical saw fans!
Thanks again to the whole Blacklock family and the IMSA for putting the event on every year. It’s a great time and an opportunity for saw players to enjoy time together. See you next year! 


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.