The Dutton Legacy

Madison music students perform with well-known family band

Story by: Sarah Paepke

The Duttons put on an exciting, high-energy show in Madison’s Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Mar. 22. They are an international touring and recording family band, and they play everything from classical to bluegrass.


 Amy Dutton performing on her fiddle with the orchestra and choir at MHS Tuesday night. Photo by: Sarah Paepke.


Music students of Madison High School had the opportunity to work with them, learn about their legacy, and perform with them in the show. The Duttons have passed on their knowledge and passion to multiple generations, and inspired many audiences with their talents.

The Duttons were very influential for Senior Rachel Felt, a member of Madison’s Symphony Orchestra.

Preview YouTube video Amy Dutton on the FiddleAmy Dutton on the Fiddle

“They are amazing performers, and they’ve practiced a lot. I think that it something I can learn better, is practicing a lot more, and getting comfortable on the stage in front of people and just having a good time,” said Felt.

Felt has also been inspired by The Duttons to explore and practice new genres of music, such as fiddle and bluegrass.

Some of the music students had very significant parts in Tuesday night’s show. Junior Zachary Winn sang a solo of “You Raise Me Up” with violinist Amy Dutton.


Zachary Winn singing a solo while Amy Dutton performing on her fiddle with the orchestra and choir at MHS Tuesday night. Photo by: Sarah Paepke.

“It was pretty crazy to sing with Amy Dutton. She’s a great violinist, and I was really honored to sing with her,” said Winn.

Dean and Sheila Dutton founded the family legacy. They wanted something that would introduce discipline to their children, so they turned to music. Most members of the Dutton family began their music careers by learning the classical violin at a very young age, and adopted many other instruments as they grew up. Although each Dutton has his or her own “specialty” when they perform, they all have experience with every single instrument on stage.

Timothy Dutton, Dean and Sheila’s son, has had a great deal of experience with multiple instruments. 

“There’s one song I do in the show where I play all of the instruments of an orchestra. I use something to help me called a looping pedal, and so I record the first instrument, and then it plays back while I do the second instrument, and I keep going until there’s a whole orchestra,” said Timothy.

 Preview YouTube video Ben Dutton (Julio) on the hornsBen Dutton (Julio) on the horns

The Duttons have always been extremely dedicated to music, and they are passionate about supporting music programs in schools. All of the proceeds from Tuesday’s show went towards Madison’s music program.

Timothy’s wife Judith, as well as many of the other family members, participated in choir and band in high school and college.

“In my own high school in Vancouver Washington, the top 10 percent of the graduating class were all people from the band and choirs. Those are always the kids that seem to gravitate toward higher goals academically; they know how to make goals; they know how to pursue something; they know how to practice, and they know how to put those things that they learn in music into other skills,” said Judith.

The Duttons have passed on their legacy not only to their children, but to our students and our community.

Preview YouTube video The Duttons featuring Madison High School Orchestra and ChoirThe Duttons featuring Madison High School Orchestra and Choir



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