UMW Philharmonic Launches New Children’s Concert Series

The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra is launching a new major concert series for children, the “Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series.” The series will bring world-class children’s entertainment to Fredericksburg each summer as a part of Fiddlestix, the Philharmonic’s outreach program dedicated to enriching the musical lives and education of children.

The Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series will kick off with a performance by the Laurie Berkner Band.

The Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series will kick off with a performance by the Laurie Berkner Band.

The series will kick off on Saturday, August 9 in the William M. Anderson Center with a performance by the Laurie Berkner Band.  The Laurie Berkner Band has become one of the leading groups in the world of children’s entertainment. Tickets for the Laurie Berkner Band concert will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 26 at

“With young children of my own, I have been frustrated with having to travel long distances for great kid’s entertainment,” said Kevin Bartram, director of the Philharmonic. “Since the Philharmonic has experience with concert production with our annual Celebrity Series, we wanted to offer similar opportunities for area children and their families.”

Critics widely acknowledge the band’s major contribution toward launching what is now dubbed the progressive “kiddie rock” movement. Laurie Berkner was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr., and appeared regularly on the network’s series “Jack’s Big Music Show.”  Her latest television project is a new short-form animated musical preschool series, “Sing It, Laurie!” which debuted in the spring of 2103 on 24-hour preschool television channel, Sprout.  “Sing It, Laurie!” stars Berkner’s voice and features her original music written for the series.

The series will continue in the summer of 2015 with concerts by Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band and Disney’s Imagination Movers, as well as events for older children from middle school through high school.

The UMW Philharmonic is partnering with Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine to promote the series. The concert promoters are currently seeking corporate sponsors as well as dedicated volunteers who are able to assist with production.

The UMW Philharmonic, conducted by Dr. Kevin Bartram, is comprised of both UMW students as well as talented community musicians. The group achieved national acclaim in 2009 with the American Prize, an award given to the top nine collegiate orchestras in the nation. In 2012, the group was featured on a national PBS fundraising show, “A Fiddler’s Holiday.”

For more information about the Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series, contact (540) 654-1324 or email

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.