Prairie Fire

Years at Winfield: 

Prairie Fire is a six-member band that specializes in traditional bluegrass music, reflecting the historical heritage of both North American and Irish cultures. The ensemble includes Abby Ballinger (age 12) on the bass, Ashley Ballinger (age 14) on mandolin & guitar, Amy Ballinger (age 17) on mandolin, bodhran & Irish penny whistle, Hannah Ballinger (age 20) on fiddle, Luke Ballinger (age 18) on guitar & mandolin and Josiah Colle (age 16) on fiddle. In 2007 the group began training under Dave Hart, formerly of "Live Bait" and a long-time bluegrass aficionado. As of 2011, Prairie Fire has been vocally coached by music instructor, Suzi Lenhard, echoing the sounds of the past, with a youthful twist.

Bluegrass was a musical extension, as homeschooling allowed each of the youth to engage in music lessons from an early age. All of the band members have either been classically trained or are currently students of piano teacher, Kathy Wimberley. Luke studied guitar under instructor Larry Lenhart and both Hannah and Josiah have been involved with the Choral Arts Society of Northern Oklahoma. All six members have participated in the National Federation of Music Clubs, as well as the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association. Later this spring, the group will have the privilege of participating in Silver Dollar City's "Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest".

The objective of Prairie Fire is, first and foremost, to glorify God and to offer praise to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through music, and secondly, to serve and encourage their community through the playing of hymns and bluegrass,as they continue in the tradition of American folk music.