The Allegheny String Band: Family of Musicians Entertains While RVing

The Allegheny String Band is the Schillinger family, RVing together and making music together. All our children love music and play some kind of instrument. We love traveling in the motor home.

The kid's musical journey began four years ago, and they have been quickly moving up in the world of music. The three youngest kids wanted to play instruments. We knew from our older kids how wonderful music in the family can be. When we adopted the younger three children, we added music to our family once again. This time it is with a variety band.

Mary, 17, and Joe, 16, started taking fiddle lessons but soon were learning to play on their own, as it was difficult to find advanced teachers in our remote area. After mastering fiddle, Mary taught herself mandolin and keyboard. Joe decided to learn banjo. Being self-taught allowed them to learn at their own pace and advance quickly. Beth, 14, plays guitar and is learning fiddle. Both of the girls play keyboard.

allegheny string band musciansJoe, Mary, and Beth of The Allegheny String Band

From the start, all three younger kids have expressed a love of music and shown much talent. In 2008, they insisted their father play double bass. So, after purchasing a bass, they taught him how to play. Pete now plays with them at every show. I, Jackie, am the band manager.

The Allegheny String Band musical repertoire has grown and now includes a variety of music, including bluegrass, Irish, country, waltzes, reels, and patriotic songs. Wherever we go, people enjoy the show, and many follow us on our RV adventures.

We started as an RV'ing family just last year. We have lots of room for all our musical equipment, the three teenager's possessions, and still room to relax.

We play most anywhere! We entertain at festivals, fairs, campgrounds, RV parks, weddings, special events, military bases, VFW's and American Legions, clubs, farmers markets. We even played the Wheeling Jamboree. These organizations pay us for the entertainment. Our music is enjoyed especially by senior citizens.

When the kids are not playing music, they enjoy reading, farming, and visiting their older siblings. They also take pleasure in touring the country as a family.

And what do the three teenagers say about RVing?

• Mary says, "It's like a home away from home because you have all the amenities."

• Joe says, "We get to travel to new places and meet new people."

• Beth says, "We get to play our music all different places."

We accomplish all of this with home schooling. We have home-schooled for 20 years and enjoy all our family time together.

The Allegheny String Band is a retired, military family with Dad serving this great country 37 years. Our oldest son, Jeremy, served in the 82nd Airborne during the first Gulf War and our middle son, Michael is serving on his 5th tour duty overseas, right now with the Army. We have six children, three grown and three still at home.

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Editor's Note: The above is guest article written by Jackie Schillinger. We find it heart-warming to hear from RVing families who are working and playing together.

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