I was blessed once again to share musical explorations with the fun people that Nancy Barker gathers each year in Bardstown, Kentucky (home of Stephen Foster.)
I taught Blues & Jazz to hammered dulcimer players. (photo by Ilace Mears)
I led a mixed group of mountain and hammered dulcimer players through some symphonic music in many parts (Christmas Carols, selected variations of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Southern Harmony shape-note tunes, Vivaldi’s Spring from the “Four Seasons” and a brand new arrangement of Beethoven’s Sonatina in G, for 4 parts: 2 mountain and 2 hammered dulcimer parts).
I also taught hymns and mixolydian tunes for hammered dulcimer, and gave a rollicking didjeridoo demonstration, complete with many people trying out their technique. We decided that the best way to help people pronounce the name of this Australian aboriginal instrument is to ask: “did you re-do your house or hair?”
Other highlights included several pickup bands that serenaded the folks in the lunchline. I led a Brass Band that featured Mark Alan Wade and I on trumpet, Robert Force on trombone and Eric Jarboe on Tuba! (photo by Marsha Harris) On another day I participated in a fun string band playing my Don Neuhauser Dulci-bro. (photo by Nancy Seifert)
Of course, concert performances are fun and this year I played Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” my David Myhre Electric Mountain Dulcimer. (THAT’s the chord I was looking for in FAC tuning!)
That was followed by rock on rock, dedicated to the folks rebuilding their church following the tornado (Peace Lutheran Church in Joplin, MO–where I gave a dulcimer concert some years ago.)
Finally, my ambition was realized: to be a “Pip” for Gladys Knight!! Okay, it was just a back-up dancer for Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl, but in my memories we’re on the midnight train to Georgia, singing “sha-la-la-la-la-la…..la-dee-dah!…..