PORT ROYAL - The humming of the saw will be heard from the free stage of the Juniata County Fair Sunday afternoon.
There will be no sawdust, wooden boards or any other indication that there is a saw being used for work.
It will be used for musical praise.
Megan Aldinger, of McAlisterville, will play the saw at 3 p.m. Sunday on the Free Stage at the Juniata County Fair.
Megan Aldinger, of McAlisterville, will make music with a hand saw and a bow at 3 p.m.
The musical saw is also known as a "singing saw," according to Wiki-pedia.com.
The instrument, according to the website, is a hand saw ordinarily used for cutting wood and is "played seated with the handle squeezed between the legs, and the far end held with one hand."
"I tell people what I play and they say, 'You play what?'" Aldinger said.
McAlisterville woman was introduced to "saw" music at the age of 13 as musician Wayne Goodling, formerly of Middleburg, performed at her home church, Bunkertown Church of the Brethren. Aldinger's mother, Stephanie Freyermuth, accompanied him on the piano.
Goodling and Freyermuth rehearsed together and Aldinger listened intently to the sound of the wood shop tool.
"I just thought it had a really pretty sound," she recalled of the moment.
The sound is one that Wikipedia described as "ethereal" or light and airy.
Goodling, who now resides in Selinsgrove, recalled introducing Aldinger to the instrument. Without much hesitation, she took the bow and followed Goodling's instructions. The professional musician was impressed immediately.
Goodling, now 85, had been playing the saw since he was a teenager. As he travelled to area churches he often mentioned he would like to teach a younger person how to play the instrument.
"I always said I would like to see someone keep up the tradition," he said.
Aldinger then committed herself to "saw" lessons every Friday evening with Goodling over the next few years.
As a teenager, she was active at East Juniata High School in field hockey and basketball and managed to find time to practice her beloved instrument and to play a few performances alongside Goodling.
Around age 17 she began to play the violin as well. However, it was a challenging instrument, she said.
"You hold the bow differently," she said. She preferred the saw.
Once Aldinger grew into adulthood, she and Goodling played for the Relay for Life ceremony in Selinsgrove four years consecutively, but she has not played much for the public in recent years. She has since gotten married and started her own salon business.
"(The fair) will be my biggest crowd," she said.
Aldinger is amazed that someone would want her to play the saw at the county fair.
Playing the instrument serves one purpose, she said. It is a form of praise to God, thus her performance is called "The Sacred Saw."
Aldinger plays strictly Christian music, including hymns and praise choruses. The melody that rings from the instrument is a serenade to her Savior.
"I feel like being able to play this is a special gift from God," she said, "And God always takes you out of your comfort zone. He's really stretching me because I am not one to want to be center of attention."
Goodling understands her intentions. He did not want accolades when he performed. He wanted to share this gift with others
"God gave me the talent to play and so I wanted to give him the glory."
It is now difficult for Goodling to hold the saw without shaking, he said, but he still loves to hear it played by someone else.
Knowing that someone else is not only "keeping up the tradition" like he had hoped - and knowing his protege has the same intentions - makes him happy.
"It makes me feel good knowing that," he said, "Yes, indeed."