Flying over central Florida in the afternoon is a beautiful experience. The sun sparks fire as it reflects within the many faces of lakes scattered across the landscape, leaping from point to point like heat lightning. The Mid-Winter Dulcimer Festival was tremendous fun and a success for organizer Joe Collins, who said that it was the most densely populated event in the festival's ten years.
After a busy morning of registration and some pre-workshop purchases from the vendor tables, folks got a welcome from Joe and an introduction of the instructors; Alan Darveaux, Wayne Seymour, Margit Roberson, Nancy Galambush, Joe and me. Margit and Nancy are also part of Flat Mountain Dulcimers along with Margit's husband Dave.
Workshops were packed with all skill levels from rank beginner to advanced students, all looking to expand their range of playing. My "Get Rhythm" class, half of whom are shown here, was 40 people strong and nearly spilled out of our room. It was quite amazing to hear that many dulcimers in close quarters beating out grooves and polyrhythms. We were a voluminous group in more ways than one.
Concerts took place during the lunch hour and then in the evening. Joe was joined by his frequent music partner Mike McGee and they played some of the distinctively delicate and delightful tunes for which they're known. You'll be able to hear some of the proceedings on this week's episode of the DPNews Online Audio Podcast.
After all was said and done, the traditional dinner of Mexican food was on: why this has become a thing for me on the road, I have no idea. Fortunately, tiny Shelby, NC had Los Cabos, a new restaraunt (1203 East Marion St. - (704) 482-4584) and we got there in time to enjoy a nice meal. I had the California Burrito, which was just the right portion size and one of the best burritos I've ever had. Sitting there with Joe and Mike, it was nice to reflect back on the day's events, full of smiles and music and friends new and old. No wonder I love road-trippin' so much.
It's all about production this week since the next festival gig isn't until March. This is a not-so-busy time of the year where I can get some recording done and continue work on the "Mountain Dulcimer In The Band" series. As usual, there's a flurry of podcast work to be done for both Dulcimerica and Dulcimer Players News, so that's what keeps me madly hopping today. That and perhaps a little gardening to ground me a bit after all that zooming around in the sky this past weekend.
Jeff Hames' New and Young Dulcimer Players Forum will feature the topic "Intro To Music Theory" - forum begins February 10, 2009 at 8:00 pm central. I'm a forum host along with Lee Cagle, Jim Woods, Joe Collins, Ken Bloom, Erin Rogers and Butch Ross. Ask questions and get answers in real-time - this is great for folks who are wanting to cut right to the chase and dig in with their ongoing journeys on mountain dulcimer.
Thanks for reading and for visiting all of the folks linked from the page. If you have any suggestions for topics on Dulcimerica or the DPN podcasts or even this blog, please don't hesitate to drop me a line at bing@JOB-Entertainment.com