Following last year’s event, we’re delighted to welcome back Nonsuch Dulcimer Club to host another ‘Dulcimers at Halsway’!
A practical workshop week combining 4 strands: mountain dulcimer with both an Introductory Course for beginners/improvers with loan instruments available, and a more in-depth Exploring Course course suitable for intermediate and/or advanced level players and advanced players of other fretted instruments. Introductory (beginners/improvers) and Exploring (intermediate/advanced) hammered dulcimer courses will run alongside this. Featuring superb tutors from the USA and UK, there will also be times to socialise and play informally, plus informal evening concerts from the tutors – and from participants!
Mountain Dulcimer (MD)
The Appalachian, or Mountain Dulcimer consists of three or more strings stretched over a long-fretted sound box, held on the lap and played by plucking or strumming. It derives from the family of fretted zithers found in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Developed in the poor hill farming communities of the Southern Appalachians, the dulcimer was adopted by the early folk revival in the 1960s and rose to fame through its use by Richard Farina and Joni Mitchell, and groups such as Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention – even the Rolling Stones! Today a younger generation of acoustic musicians are discovering its distinctive tones and using it in fresh ways with traditional and contemporary material.
Who’s it For?
All skills levels will be catered for from beginners to advanced, in both Mountain Dulcimer and Hammered Dulcimer. We have Mountain Dulcimers available for beginners to borrow; if you need to borrow a Hammered Dulcimer we may be able to arrange this if given sufficient notice.
Nonsuch Playing Level Guidelines 2016 – click to see a pdf of playing level guidelines.
Aaron O’Rourke from Tennessee, started performing and teaching the mountain dulcimer at age 16. Winner of the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2010, he is now one of the very top US players, taking the mountain dulcimer in new directions via a wide range of musical styles. He is also a favourite teacher on the US festival scene.
Dan Landrum also from Tennesse, should need no introduction to UK players. Freelance percussionist and musician, he came over here in 2016, wowing audiences and students alike. He is also, as editor of the respected Dulcimer Players News publication, an influential voice in the world dulcimer scene.
Sarah Morgan yet again from Tennesse, won the 2012 National Mountain Dulcimer Championship at the age of 18. She is now a phenomenal player with a beautiful and powerful voice, who often performs older Appalachian songs. She is also an increasingly popular teacher on the US scene.
Karen Alley from Ohio, won the 2014 National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. Her repertoire ranges from Celtic to classical, allying percussive techniques to rich harmonies and broad dynamics. She is emerging as a force to be reckoned with on the US festival scene.