Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unicoi Bound

North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association Fall Festival. That's a mouthful, isn't it? This is such a huge festival, yet I wasn't aware of how huge until it came time to prepare for it. By "preparation", I mean the printing out of worksheets that I use during my three classes. Additional to those workshops is a Saturday "core" class featuring five instructors (the others are no small potatoes; Stephen Seifert, Tull Glazener, Susan Trump and Larry Conger - wow!) that rotate among five different groups of students in skill levels ranging from novice to advanced. In this arrangement, I'll be teaching "Adventures in Ionian" (playing in DAA tuning) while my other three workshops are "Dark Side of the Dulcimer", "Songwriting Crash Course II" and, what's becoming quite the popular little course, "Primal Dulcimer."

I'm really looking forward to this, for a number of different reasons. One, it's just going to be awesome to be around this many great players of the instrument. The staff list is a who's-who of musicians, including Janita Baker, Sarah Elisabeth, Ken Bloom, Jeff Hames, Guy George, Ron Ewing, Karen Mueller and the list just goes on. Mike Clemmer will also be there - and I'm really stoked to meet him, especially because he's got a little double-necked goody that he built for me. We may get to know each other before my concert slot on Friday night (right after Stephen, talk about a tough act to follow!)

This will Jae's first dulcimer festival and I'm glad she's going to this one - Helen is somewhat of a tourist town known for its beautiful countryside and Scandinavian theming. A hofbrau haus on the rim of the great Smokies? Sounds like a killer time to me.

Mountain music
Members of the Athens rock group R.E.M played one. So did Cyndi Lauper and even Joni Mitchell.

What instrument other than the guitar could these eclectic acts have in common? They all shared a desire for the simplicity of the dulcimer — a stringed harp-like instrument that is traditionally played in one’s lap.

And nearly 400 of these dulcimer players will attend the dulcimer convention at the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association Fall Festival at Unicoi State Park, taking place Thursday through Nov. 18.

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: