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!

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