Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Black Mountain Music Festival 2017

I spent last week at the second annual Black Mountain Music Festival held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The festival website promised great workshops and jamming for both mountain dulcimer AND hammered dulcimer, with additional classes in ukulele, fiddle, and autoharp. I went with high expectations and was not disappointed!
Photo Credit: Dan Landrum
102 mountain dulcimer players and 49 hammered dulcimer players attended. Director Chuck Moseley put together a dream team of top-notch instructors. For hammered dulcimer: Guy George, Dan Landrum, Ken Kolodner, Ruth SmithRick Thum. For mountain ducimer: Linda Brockinton, Bing Futch, Tull Glazener, Judy House, Erin Mae, Sarah Morgan, Aaron O'Rourke, Gary Sager, Stephen Seifert. All friendly, accessible, knowledgeable, fun teachers. Five 1-hour classes every day for four days. Superb classroom instruction that stretched brains and provided information needed to push our play to the next level.
Did I mention that these instructors are awesome performers, too? Concerts every night... what a variety show! The collaboration amongst these talented musicians was something to behold. The multiple styles of playing left many exclaiming, "You can do that with the dulcimer?"
After each evening concert, the jam sessions began.... a slow jam for the less experienced players led by the creative and zany Jim Miller, along with the regular jam, led by the energized Rick Thum. Musical madness reigned late into the night.
Many of us "old timers" have been missing the now defunct dulcimer week at the Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College. Guess what? The community we've been yearning for has found its way to the Black Mountain Music Festival! Here is the opportunity to make new friends, reconnect with the old, while introducing new players to the wider dulcimer community. The only thing missing? Could it be YOU?

Trapezoids of the Triangle... this festival is in our back yard.
Save the date for next year's festival!
October 21 - 26, 2018
See you there!

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