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‘North Dakota girls’ rock park

By Staff | Aug 1, 2014

Kendra Slaubaugh, 18, of Tigirlily, engages the crowd.

All ages entertained

by Tim Chapman, Tribune Editor

More than 1,000 people turned out to Rugby Lions Club’s Music in the Park on Wednesday and North Dakota hit duo Tigirlily delighted young and old.

The sisters Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh played popular country tunes and their own original music, capping the sunny and mosquito-free evening at Ellery Park with their hit song “North Dakota.”

Kristen VanEckhout, 17, of Bismarck, was in Rugby to visit her grandmother, Alice Brossart, and to see Tigirlily.

Jenner Johnson, 7, of Rugby, enjoys mint chocolate chip ice cream, courtesy Rugby Lions Club.

“It was awesome just like last time,” said VanEckhout, who saw the group at the state fair.

Her friend Breanna Deaver, 17, of Rugby, was most impressed with Tigirlily’s originality.

“They’re very unique and write their own songs,” Deaver said.

Karsyn Hager, 14, of Rugby, was impressed as a fellow musician and proud to see fellow North Dakotans excelling. The duo spoke between songs about how they recently recorded music in Nashville, Tenn., the “Music City” and home to the Grand Ole Opry.

“It means a lot,” said Hager, when asked about the rising stars playing in Rugby. “They’re great role models. I’m involved in music and play drums, so it was cool to see another group play drums.”

About 1,200 people packed Ellery Park on Wednesday to hear North Dakota hit country/pop duo Tigirlily perform.

Clarine Pottenger, 76, of Towner, is more into gospel than country, but enjoyed the lively environment.

“I heard they were supposed to be so good,” Pottenger said. “It’s a huge crowd. I was surprised. And the food was delicious. It’s fun watching all these little kids dance. It’s a beautiful night.”

The crowd was one of the biggest Music in the Park turnouts in 19 years, according to Lions member and organizer Kathy Kirchofner. A couple years ago, the weekly series brought Liquid Blue, an indie pop rock band from San Diego. Tigirlily appeared to pull in a similarly large crowd, which was about four times the size of average Music in the Park crowds.

“It’s really, really wonderful and it has a lot to do with the weather,” Kirchofner said. “People would’ve come out, but not like this. We wouldn’t have been able to do this with the art and (classic) cars.”

Kirchofner thanked the Rugby Convention and Visitors Bureau and Rugby Park Board for assisting in the financing of Music in the Park.

Over 20 tubs of ice cream and 800 hamburgers were served that evening.

Ten vendors were present at Arts in the Park selling art of various forms.

Scott Johnson, of Rugby, was the winner of the classic car contest. Out of 12 cars, his received the most votes.

Lions bring Tigirlily for biggest turnout of summer at Ellery

by Bryce Berginski, Tribune Reporter

Hazen sisters Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh, also known as the country/pop duo Tigirlily, performed Wednesday in front of a massive crowd for Music in the Park.

With a full band, the sisters performed a set of primarily original songs, including five from their upcoming album. They also did covers of songs by Katy Perry, Idina Menzel and Lorde and other old and modern songs.

“There was a great turnout, it’s fun to see people of all ages,” Krista said of the crowd at Ellery Park.

The sisters began singing on YouTube, a video sharing website, three years ago. To date, their channel has 9,000 subscribers and they’ve received over 100,000 views for each of their videos.

“We like doing YouTube to get our music out there, but we love performing even more,” Kendra said.

The sisters started performing about two years ago. Originally performing under the name Kendra and Krista, the name “Tigirlily” came from the search for a name that was memorable and would pop. Since then, they’ve shared the stage with Chris Cagle and Gwen Sebastian (a Hebron native, country artist and past contestant on “The Voice”), and have played at several venues, including last week at the North Dakota State Fair.

“This is just so relaxed and people are just here to have a good time, and that’s our favorite part about it,” Kendra said comparing the state fair to Music in the Park. “The audience was awesome, and it was great to see smiling faces.”

Krista added: “We put on a show everyone can enjoy.”

The sisters have a familial connection to the Pierce County area. They are granddaughters of Ernie & Marjo Slaubaugh, of Wolford, and have uncles and cousins residing in the Wolford area. Guitarist John Schneider and drummer Caleb Fritel, of their backing band, both have aunts, uncles and cousins in Pierce County.

Tigirlily will release their latest album, a six-song EP called “Victory”, on Aug. 18. They recorded the album in Nashville, and production credits include Gwen Sebastian’s producer Louis Newman, and a backing band that includes members of Garth Brooks’ and Blake Shelton’s bands.

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