The Ballroom Thieves is a folk trio with a cellist at its core. Singer Calin Peters and her bandmates, guitarist Martin Earley and percussionist Devin Mauch, have now teamed up with the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra on a music video for its song "Bury Me Smiling," and the combination makes for a compelling song.
As Calin Peters told us via email, "This collaboration represents much more than an alliance of two genres. Classical musicians have long been trained to live in a rigid world, yet this younger generation of string players already understands the beauty in a lack of rules." Calin would know; she grew up in that world. "Having come from a classical youth I never quite fit into, I think if an opportunity such as this youth orchestra had been available, I not only would have had an outlet that more accurately catered to my learning style, but more importantly, programs like this keep kids learning instruments longer than they otherwise would have."
Based in Portland, the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra — or MYRO — has performed with a few dozen artists, including a few featured on All Songs Considered in the past, Kishi Bashi and Darlingside. MYRO will tour with The Ballroom Thieves this spring — including a few select music festivals. It's important for classical musicians these days to get some hands-on experience with something so basic to modern music-making as videos and touring. In an email, Kevin Oates, MYRO's executive director and founder, told me, "Working with The Ballroom Thieves on this collaboration has given our orchestral students the opportunity to perform with a national band and demonstrate that they are not restricted to classical music."
A version of "Bury Me Smiling" without MYRO can be found on The Ballroom Thieves' 2015 album A Wolf In The Doorway.