I recently visited my mother, who lives in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and was fortunate to sit in on a Galax-style dulcimer and old-time string band jam. I was told that the dulcimers would be tuned to DDD — all the strings pitched to the same note — for this jam. Continue reading
Last summer our librarian dulcimer member, Bonnie, lead a very successful community out-reach program, “Teaching Children to Play the Dulcimer.” This summer she had the creative idea of reading a book to the children and adding dulcimer music to go along with the story. She selected the book, “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance,” by British author, Giles Andrease, with illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees.
What a milestone this year for the Lagniappe Dulcimer Society: This is our 15th year of hosting a highly successful dulcimer festival. It is alot of work and effort with an all-volunteer organization and staff but the festival always turns out well. It is a chance to meet new and old friends, jam, play music and listen to some good musicians. Continue reading
Our Lagniappe Dulcimer Fete in March of 2016 featured a Mardi Gras extravaganza complete with a pageant and a Mardi Gras Krewe with king and queen. The plans for our celebration grew as the month’s went by. It turned out to be quite a production! Here’s what happened. Continue reading
Our annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête in March brings dulcimer players from all over the country to teach workshops and perform in concert. It’s a good way for local members and dulcimer players to become introduced to new music, ideas and techniques. As always, I am impressed with the talented musicians that come join in our festival. I’d like to share some of what I learned. Meet Joe Collins. Continue reading
Our 15th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête is history. The weather was rainy, damp and humid. It didn’t dampen the spirits of the dulcimer players — the workshops and concerts, food and vendors were great. Kudo to the fête planners. Here are some of the highlights in photos. We started the festival with a Mardi Gras Extravaganza and picked a new queen and king by secret ballot.
Several days ago, a gentleman walked into one of our local libraries and handed the librarian–a dulcimer player–a stack of 22 classic dulcimer records from the 1970’s. All were in stellar condition. The man had seen an article in our local newspaper about a dulcimer class at the library and decided to donate his entire collection of records to our dulcimer club. As we looked through the record jackets, what a treasure this was!
Mardi Gras comes early this year–February 9, 2016. This is carnival time in south Louisiana — parades, pageantry, costumes, balls, parties, king cakes. We play many of the traditional Mardi Gras songs on the dulcimer and I credit the tablature for the music to Paul Andry of Mandeville, Louisiana.
Longtime Lagniappe club dulcimer member, Joe Besse, is our “Cajun Dulcimer Ambassador.” He lives in Scott, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun country of southwest Louisiana and grew up listening to Cajun music. If fact as a child he lived down the street from a corner bar, the OST Club. He heard Happy Fats play guitar and upright bass and listened to the strains of Cajun fiddlers and musicians play long into the night.Here is Joe with his dulcimer sitting on a sculpture of a Cajun triangle, a musical instrument often used in Cajun music for rhythm, at the Lafayette Visitors Center on Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette, Louisiana. Continue reading
I look forward to the holiday season each December, especially the music. Christmas carols have been a part of my holiday tradition for as long as I can remember. Carols are melodic and joyful–even the sad ones–and it is difficult to pick a favorite carol. One is “What Child is This?” which is set to the melody of Greensleeves, an old English carol. This minor song sounds beautiful when played on the mountain dulcimer. Continue reading