Monday, March 30, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

9th Annual Trapezoid Retreat at Glade Valley

Front: Martha, Connie, Ben, Sarah
Back: Carol, MaryLynn, Bess, Betsy, Sue
Not pictured: Ruth

Last weekend a group of 9 trapezoids (plus a concertina player) gathered for our 9th annual mountaintop hammered dulcimer retreat. Martha and Richard were the consummate hosts, opening their home to our musical passion. Everyone pitched in to prepare food, set up, clean up, do what needed to be done. We had so much fun sharing meals, ideas, tunes, and precious time together. In addition to more "structured" sessions during the weekend, we simply played a lot of music!

Friday night, Connie Woolard taught a couple of fun tunes: Andy Caught the Big One and Laurel Run. Connie is a founding member of the Mountain Laurels, an all women band out of Boone, NC. She brought one of her best students, Ben, only 13 years old and showing much promise as a budding musician.

We started the day on Saturday with John Ryan's Polka, a common jam session tune taught by Sue Wilson. We learned the basic tune by ear, then added a backup. We had fun playing the first two notes of that tune with emphasis!

At the mid-morning break everyone had the chance to add their favorites to the Jam Gems list. Don't you hate to be in a jam session where folks can't think of a tune when put on the spot?? Making a list saves a lot of time. We went around the circle giving each person a chance to choose a tune with the list as a reference.

After a fabulous lunch of Bess's homemade minestrone soup we reconvened for a Sandbridge Tunes session. Many of us have a shared repertoire from attending Ken Kolodner's Sandbridge Dulcimer Workshops held annually in the fall of the year. We played a bunch of favorites. The hot tunes that folks are working to master this year (and were played a LOT throughout the weekend): Done Gone, Valse Nadine, McDonald's Reel

During the second half of the afternoon we prepared for the evening's entertainment … a house concert put on by US for Martha's neighborhood friends! In the midst of all this, Ruth Smith snuck in!! We had quite a nice program:

  • Martha / Carol ... Washington's Hornpipe
  • MaryLynn / Bess … Gentle Eily O'Carol
  • Sue / Betsy (concertina) ... 3 Irish polkas: As I Went Out Upon the Ice / Ballydesmond #1 and #2
  • Connie / Ben (dulcimer & banjo) / Sarah (guitar) …  I'll Fly Away
  • Sarah / Connie …  Lover's Waltz
  • Ruth … debut of her new composition: A Life Well Lived
  • MaryLynn / Bess /  Sue ... McDonald's Reel
  • The grand finale: MaryLynn ... Walking Stones (solo), into Caspian Lake w/ Betsy on concertina, Connie on whistle, and the rest of us on dulcimers

Here's a list of everything we played throughout the weekend:

Andy Caught the Big One
Billy in the Lowground
Blacktail Canyon
Bonnie at Morn
Cam Ye to Atholl
Caspian Lake
Coleman's March
Come Before Winter
Done Gone
Fanny Poer
Frenchie's Reel
Gentle Eily O'Carol
Hangman's Reel
I'll Fly Away
John Ryan's Polka
Lady of the Lake
Laurel Run
McDonald's Reel
Midnight on the Water
Nail that Catfish to then Tree
Oklahoma Rooster
Over the Waterfall
Rakes of Mallow
Rock the Cradle, Joe
Saudade de Uberaba
Shenandoah Falls
Shove that Pig's Foot Closer to the Fire
Si Bheag Si Mhor
Tom Biggbee's Waltz
Valse Nadine
Winter is Past

See you next year!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday's Muse

Spring is the time of plans and projects.  ~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 

Friday, March 20, 2015

CTO ... This side UP?!?

Oh, my goodness! We've all been playing from the wrong side!

Check This Out ... Queen Marie Antoinette "playing" the hammered dulcimer  ... a very complex music box.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday's Muse

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.  ~ Adrienne Cook

Friday, March 13, 2015

CTO … Many Mallets

No hammered dulcimers here, but plenty of other percussionists!

Check This Out … Led Zeppelin on xylophone and marimba. You see any future hammered dulcimer players in this bunch? These youngsters are having FUN!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday's Muse

Whoever has skill in music is of good temperament and fitted for all things. We must teach music in our schools. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, March 6, 2015

CTO … Face the Music

Piggy-backing on my post of February 11, The Face of a Hammered Dulcimer Player , here's your laugh for the day.

Check This Out … Hammered Dulcimer players are not the only musicians who make funny faces while in the midst of playing. TheCrispyDuck had some creative photo-shopping fun, declaring that guitar solo faces make a lot more sense when the guitar is replaced with a giant slug. Some of the comments are a bit crude, but the pictures are hilarious!

One thing's for sure, a hammered dulcimer player would never close eyes while playing! Guitar Solo Faces

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday's Muse

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~ Anne Bradstreet