Dallas Celtic rock group The Killdares are bringing their unique sound to Highland Park High School, where they will play with the Highlander Strings Orchestra and bagpipers at 6 p.m. on May 1.

HPHS Orchestra Director Peggy Tucker is a long-time fan of the group, and she and The Killdares founder, lead singer and drummer Tim Smith thought the collaboration was a natural fit.  

"We'd heard about the Scots and the school's reputation for having a great music program - with bagpipers - which we loved," Smith said. “This is going to be a first for us - having student musicians as part of our show. It's not just exciting for the kids, but it's way outside the box for us."  Tucker said the students are thrilled to be joining the band onstage throughout the performance. 

Members of the band will join students for several rehearsals before the show, which will be a part of the learning experience. The Killdares fiddle player Roberta Rast practiced with students during their April 4 class. Rast broke the ice with students by playing along with the student's practice song before wowing with them with her technique in one of The Killdares' songs.

"What a great chance for our students to see up close how professional musicians create their own unique sound," Tucker said. "And then to be able to play with the band- it's going to be fantastic!"  

When Smith heard about the Scots football team playing The Killdares in the locker room to get pumped up before a game, he said the deal was sealed.  

"At that point, we knew it was meant to be," he quipped.  

The show, a special HPISD Centennial celebration, will be from 6-7 p.m. on May 1. Tickets are free, but they are required because a full house is expected. Tickets will be available from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on April 29 at the HPHS Titus Box Office.

Funding for "Rocking the Centennial" concert was made possible by grants from HP Arts, PC Tag Parents and Highlander Strings Orchestra Boosters.

Information provided by Highlander Strings Publicity.

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