Monthly Archives: November 2008

Our Mountain Dulcimer Teacher Friends — Larry Conger and Steve Seifert

Hi Friends,

Today I am hoping you had a lovely Thanksgiving day with your families, and I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club meeting in December at Bob’s house!  
Also, today I enjoyed viewing the new DPNews Online Video Podcast, and I was happy to see our friend and wonderful teacher, Steve Seifert, in the show.  I’m posting it here for your convenience, but I encourage you to visit Youtube and browse the series of videos by Bing Futch.  Bing is doing a fabulous job of bringing our dulcimer world to life on the worldwide web….and I appreciate that very much!
Here’s the video:  
     
And…about that other teacher/friend of ours…well, you know what I think about him and his music, doncha?  
Consequently, I just want to say that Larry Conger has a new CD which he released October 1, 2008, and I’m wanting to give you easy access to finding and enjoying Larry’s sweet music….
so, that’s my news for today….If you want to know anything about after Thanksgiving sales and/or the shopping in Memphis….I’m sorry, but you’ll have to read a different blogger.  [smile]
g’Day!
Carla
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Mountain Dulcimer Club Meeting in Memphis, TN, December 7, 2008

Here’s the news from Bob Magowan, regarding the December Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club Meeting:

Mountain Dulcimer Players:

The last 2008 meeting of the Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club will be on Sunday, December 7 from 3 – 5pm at our house. If you need directions please call (901) 362-3619.

Linda and I played our dulcimers for the “We Care” group at our church on Nov. 20. This is a group of old folks, a number in wheelchairs, that get together once a month for the day to relieve their caregivers a bit. Although we made many mistakes playing, the group seemed to enjoy the “performance”. We hope you have some opportunities to share your talents like this during the holidays.

At our December meeting we will play your choice of music; Christmas music or your old-time music favorites.

Below you will find an email from Thomasina regarding George Haggerty. Linda and I met George at Cullowhee last year, and even though many of you do not know him I wanted you to have the opportunity to contribute to the raffle. You might even win this beautiful, Koa dulcimer!

Hope to see many of you at our last meeting of the year.

Bob

Dear Friends,

Greetings from chilly Connecticut. As many of you may know, our dear friend, George Haggerty was in a motorcycle accident last month where he was really banged up and in the hospital was for a fair amount of time. He is now home recovering but is unable to work for a time while his body heals. As you can imagine, he has acquired medical bills, etc., that are difficult for a person to tackle while in recovery. We dulcimer people are a kind and generous tribe- Dallas Cline has spearheaded organizing a benefit concert that will include Lorraine and Bennett Hammond, Rob Brereton and me (Thomasina).

The concert will be held on January 10, 2009 in Litchfield County (but the location is still waiting to be verified.) The time will be 8:00 P.M. Tickets are a $10 donation and more info. will follow soon…

But wait! It gets BETTER!

Mary Matarainen of Laurel Mountain Dulcimers has built and donated a BEAUTIFUL dulcimer made of Koa wood, with a soundboard top of cedar and a choice of dragonfly or crown of thorns and cross soundholes. I visited with Mary yesterday and played this dulcimer and it is really a high end instrument. I would not hesitate to use this instrument for my own performances or recordings. If Folkcraft were selling it today, it would be priced at $750.00. Mary was one of Folkcraft’s main builders in the shop in Winsted before they sold the business. She learned her craft of woodworking at the Hitchcock Furniture factory before she joined Folkcraft in Winsted. For more pictures and information go to www.laurelmountaininstruments.com/

The drawing for the raffle is DECEMBER 3, 2009. So, get your checks in soon.

RAFFLE TICKETS: $5.00 each

or

THREE FOR $12.00
SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE OUT TO

HAGGERTY RAFFLE FOR ONE OR MORE TICKETS

MAIL TO:

DALLAS CLINE
1207 MAIN ST. APT. # 104
ST. JOHNSBURY, VT 05819

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS (IF no e-mail, send regular address)

Dallas will immediately send, via e-mail, your raffle ticket number to print out and hold until the drawing.

This will be held at the St. Johnsbury Dulcimer Gathering on DECEMBER 3rd. Checks will go into the Haggerty Raffle account in the Passumsic Bank in St. Johnsbury and one check for the full amount will go to George after the drawing.

All the best,

Thomasina Levy

Connecticut State Troubadour 2005/2006

Original & Traditional Folk Music

P.O. Box 1469

Litchfield, CT 06759

www.Thomasina.Net

 

(860) 567-1605

December 2008, Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club Meeting

[originally posted in November 2008 on www.Memphis-Dulcimer.com , copied and reposted here on 4/11/2009]Mountain Dulcimer Players:

The last 2008 meeting of the Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club will be on Sunday, December 7 from 3 – 5pm at our house. If you need directions please call (901) 362-3619 or email at magowandulcimers@comcast.net.

Linda and I played our dulcimers for the “We Care” group at our church on Nov. 20. This is a group of old folks, a number in wheelchairs, that get together once a month for the day to relieve their caregivers a bit. Although we made many mistakes playing, the group seemed to enjoy the “performance”. We hope you have some opportunities to share your talents like this during the holidays.

At our December meeting we will play your choice of music; Christmas music or your old-time music favorites.

Below you will find an email from Thomasina regarding George Haggerty. Linda and I met George at Cullowhee last year, and even though many of you do not know him I wanted you to have the opportunity to contribute to the raffle. You might even win this beautiful, Koa dulcimer!

Hope to see many of you at our last meeting of the year.

Bob

Dear Friends,

Greetings from chilly Connecticut. As many of you may know, our dear friend, George Haggerty was in a motorcycle accident last month where he was really banged up and in the hospital was for a fair amount of time. He is now home recovering but is unable to work for a time while his body heals. As you can imagine, he has acquired medical bills, etc., that are difficult for a person to tackle while in recovery. We dulcimer people are a kind and generous tribe- Dallas Cline has spearheaded organizing a benefit concert that will include Lorraine and Bennett Hammond, Rob Brereton and me (Thomasina).

The concert will be held on January 10, 2009 in Litchfield County (but the location is still waiting to be verified.) The time will be 8:00 P.M. Tickets are a $10 donation and more info. will follow soon…

But wait! It gets BETTER!

Mary Matarainen of Laurel Mountain Dulcimers has built and donated a BEAUTIFUL dulcimer made of Koa wood, with a soundboard top of cedar and a choice of dragonfly or crown of thorns and cross soundholes. I visited with Mary yesterday and played this dulcimer and it is really a high end instrument. I would not hesitate to use this instrument for my own performances or recordings. If Folkcraft were selling it today, it would be priced at $750.00. Mary was one of Folkcraft’s main builders in the shop in Winsted before they sold the business. She learned her craft of woodworking at the Hitchcock Furniture factory before she joined Folkcraft in Winsted. For more pictures and information go to www.laurelmountaininstruments.com/

The drawing for the raffle is DECEMBER 3, 2009. So, get your checks in soon.

RAFFLE TICKETS: $5.00 each

or

THREE FOR $12.00
SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE OUT TO

HAGGERTY RAFFLE FOR ONE OR MORE TICKETS

MAIL TO:

DALLAS CLINE
1207 MAIN ST. APT. # 104
ST. JOHNSBURY, VT 05819

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS (IF no e-mail, send regular address)

Dallas will immediately send, via e-mail, your raffle ticket number to print out and hold until the drawing.

This will be held at the St. Johnsbury Dulcimer Gathering on DECEMBER 3rd. Checks will go into the Haggerty Raffle account in the Passumsic Bank in St. Johnsbury and one check for the full amount will go to George after the drawing.

All the best,

Thomasina Levy

Connecticut State Troubadour 2005/2006
Original & Traditional Folk Music
P.O. Box 1469
Litchfield, CT 06759
www.Thomasina.Net
 
(860) 567-1605

Voluntarily Learning to Play My Mountain Dulcimer


Today I’m listening to some mountain dulcimer recordings I have stored on my computer.  These recordings are snippets of my learning to play and perform with friends.  


In prefacing the sharing of these recording….I should say that I have taken quite a few workshops during my history of learning to play the mountain dulcimer.  I have learned from fabulous teachers in various locations and venues, and it seems like the right time to review and reflect upon my workshopped experiences.

This first recording is from a practice session in my living room.  The tune is “Red River Valley.”   My friends and I were practicing for a Harvest Day performance at the Memphis Zoo.  Not too many months earlier, we joined up in our volunteer efforts during that summer of 2006.  We enjoyed playing at the zoo once per month during a summer program called, “Front Porch Pastimes,” which is an educational feature of the zoo’s Once Upon a Farm exhibit.  The instruments we used in this recording are:  mountain dulcimer (my part), autoharp (Marti Patchell), guitar (Justin Brown), and mandolin (Pat Patchell).  

I like sharing this recording for a couple of different reasons.  Firstly…it was recorded during my first year of bravery in publicly performing with my mountain dulcimer; secondly…chord families had just registered in a permanent place in my memory bank, after a couple of years’ frustration in fighting to find their way there via best efforts by Jim Miller and Bill Taylor during jams and/or workshops at Cullowhee; and, thirdly…well…give it a listen and see if you can figure out why I think this is a good recording to keep:

Click on  the play button below to listen to “Red River Valley”:  

[I’m having trouble getting the right recording with the right play button!]  [In the meantime….here’s a link to a website for Johnny and the Hurricanes, a group who hit the charts with “Red River Valley” in 1959.]


Click here for some history of the tune, “Red River Valley.”


Click here for another version of Red River Valley


And here’s another tune from a group practice session….

Click here for Stephen Foster music credits  


Both of the above recordings from my group’s practice, and most if-not-all of my recordings, were recorded with my handy-dandy digital voice recorder Olympus model DS-20….and both are real-life-practice sessions, without intention to be used in any professional recordings.  I was having fun….and enjoying the combination of skills acquired throughout my workshop world.  This is what administrator-types call “group practice” in learning skills…which is what it is, of course.  And it is what I like to call “playing”…which is the point in life where a lot of learning takes place…which has been my point for a long time.  And, to be able to play particularly chordy like this, I can thank some wonderful teachers:  Jim Miller, for tirelessly naming chords with his hand motions and/or hat innovations; Bill Taylor, for his gentle teaching and confidence building, not to mention his bluegrass barrier breaking; and Larry Conger for his graceful and fine finger pattern making in my mind…and, of course, Miss Lois Hornbostel for coordinating these teachers to be in the place and time that was appropriate for my learning.  Oh!  And Tull Glazener for reminding me that I love the “Hard Times” tune, as he taught it during the Memphis Dulcimer Festival years ago.  


I don’t mean to sound like I am giving an acceptance speech for some bloggy award or anything…I’m just trying to convey, in my way, that these particular people have had a huge impact on my enjoyment of and ability to play my mountain dulcimer…my way.

Enjoy.

Carla
[note:  yes, I know the recordings turned out to be the same.  I’m having trouble with the blog software!  I have edited this entry tooooo many times….and I will endeavor to correct the tunes I am trying to share.  In other words…I’M HAVING A HARD TIME!!  LOL] [So…I’m also saying…I’ll be editing this entry again, and maybe again.]







L.B. Woodbury’s “The Dulcimer: of the New York Collection of Sacred Music,” [an online Google Book]


Hi Folks!

Today I have allowed myself to be engrossed in randomly-Googled-up-and-musically-researched self-indulgence regarding the dulcimer……literally…ALL DAY,….as I came across a Google Book entitled,The Dulcimer: of the New York Collection of Sacred Music, by L.B. Woodbury. 
“The Dulcimer book” is amazing!  Google has provided this 365 page version of the original book printed in 1850.  Reading the music theory info that is contained in the first part of the book will provide some musical food-for-thought for most dulcimer players, I imagine.  For me, it fed me all day today….and I will enjoy taking the information in again, after what I have already gained from the book settles in.
If music theory scares you…..join my club.  I sometimes feel a bit nauseated when dreary-theory discussions fall upon my ear(y) [Sorry…HAD to add that extra letter…please don’t ask why.]  Because as my skin starts to crawl when those with lots of musical knowledge and theoretically exact facts start to yackity-yack….I realize that, as I previously realized, I really do have dangerously huge deficits, though no less desire for the knowledge, in my understanding of music academe….and I rediscover that I am nearly speechless when I want to speak up and talk about what I DO know…not to mention when I wish to help someone who might know a little less than I know.  I know this is a bit confusing….welllllllll WELCOME to my musical theory world!  LOL
Because of this part of my particularly peculiar problem of wanting to be a smarty-pants musicologist when I grow up…..I spent my day today analyzing “The Dulcimer book” info….whilst in my pajamas….not eating lunch or dinner….and winding up with a growling stomach, a headache, and a mind to do it all again as soon as I can….and I’m hoping dulcimer players around the world will virtually join me in the quest to catch up with the times in theory….and we will learn as much as we can about whatever it is we are expected to know….and then, when we strum as we sit in our club circles…..or, perhaps, while we’re pickin’ and grinnin’ out on the street busking our you-know-whats off,…..if a potentially musical theorist inquires as to our do-re-mi numbers in any DAD or other diatonicish dulcimer scale…..we might have answers for those who need to know notes.
Personally, if I could keep from getting sidetracked with the idea that this information might help me play my dulcimer….I would probably be a much better player, enjoy a healthy eating schedule, and have fewer headaches.  
But I’m not asking you to do what I do, this time….I’m just sayin’…..here’s a really good book.
Enjoy!
Probably shouldabeen strummin’ today,
Carla
[edited after first publishing…..just added this line and the bit in italics)
[retitled on 11/18/08 — to clarify that I did not write Woodbury’s book….but I am discussing it on this blog]