Monroe Crossing featured at next Music & Pie concert

Monroe Crossing will play at Siloa Lutheran Church for the next Music & Pie concert Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m.

The members of Monroe Crossing will perform Sunday, Feb. 10, at Siloa Lutheran Church. From left, Derek Johnson, guitar; Matt Thompson, mandolin; David Robinson, banjo; Lisa Fuglie, fiddle; and Mark Anderson, bass. Photo by Jamey Guy

The members of Monroe Crossing will perform Sunday, Feb. 10, at Siloa Lutheran Church. From left, Derek Johnson, guitar; Matt Thompson, mandolin; David Robinson, banjo; Lisa Fuglie, fiddle; and Mark Anderson, bass. Photo by Jamey Guy

Named in honor of Bill Monroe, “The Father of Bluegrass Music,” Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada.

Based in Minnesota, the group plays an average of 125 shows a year at major venues and festivals, frequently for non-bluegrass audiences—and people often comment that they’d never really liked bluegrass music until they attended a Monroe Crossing concert.

Monroe Crossing is made up of five very distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds and tastes, combining for a very unique ensemble sound. They are Derek Johnson: guitar, lead and harmony vocals; Lisa Fuglie: fiddle, mandolin, lead and harmony vocals; Matt Thompson: mandolin, fiddle, baritone vocals; Mark Anderson: bass and bass vocals; and David Robinson: banjo. Their paths crossed through the music of Bill Monroe so they like to say they had a “Monroe Crossing.”

“It’s fun to be creative,” guitarist Derek Johnson said about writing music. “When a song pops into your head, it’s like a little bit of magic. When you bring an original song to the rest of the band, it’s fun to bounce different arrangement ideas off of one another. The song then evolves into something the songwriter wasn’t anticipating and that’s exciting.”

Among their many honors, Monroe Crossing was selected to showcase at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association Convention and they were inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The only bluegrass band ever nominated as “Artist of the Year” by the Minnesota Music Academy (MMA), Monroe Crossing won the 2003 MMA “Bluegrass Album of the Year” award. The group also took home four awards—for Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo—at the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association’s 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet.

Monroe Crossing has recorded 13 albums and one DVD to date. Their lucky 13th album is “The Road Has No End,”showcasing both the band’s unique originality and its high regard for the classic bluegrass tradition.

When asked what they’re most looking forward to at the upcoming performance at Siloa Lutheran Church, Johnson said, “The pie!”

“We enjoy entertaining an audience of any size. We play anywhere from small rooms to festivals that have audiences numbering in the thousands,” he said. “But what really makes a show stick out is the hospitality we are greeted with. A nice meal in fellowship with others and some great homemade pie goes a long way!”

For directions to Siloa Lutheran Church, visit www.siloalutheranchurch.com or call Pat Schonhardt at 718-749-6341.

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