This has been a wonderful workshop. I wish everyone could come along with us and experience this. We have met people from as far west as Oregon, down south in Florida and to the east in North Carolina as well as from Arkansas and many other states. We have found the dulcimer community a great group of people. The teachers are so talented and knowledgeable. Today I took a class from Aaron O’Roarke who is probably one of the best dulcimer players I have ever heard. If you ever get to meet him make sure you ask him to play Boil Them Cabbage Down. And on to class with Dottie Sheppard learning to sing along with church songs. My last class of Welsh Church music with Nancy Galambush. Stephanie spent her class time with Linda Brockinton and Jeff Furman on technique. After the concert (picture of all performers included) I participated in learning Contra Dance but quickly decided I had two left feet. Until next time..... (Click photos to see Elaine and Stephanie’s slideshow).
I started my day with classes on flat picking and fingerpicking with Judy House and Linda Brockinton in the first two sessions of the day. The session in the afternoon was with Jeff Furman working on hammer-ons and pull-offs as well as smoothing our playing with chords. It was so exciting when something clicked and “the lightbulb came on in my head”. Of course, looking and shopping in the booths is a special treat between sessions.
As we nestle in this German town in the mountains of north Georgia we learn, learn and learn. Today for me was Butch Ross, Ann Lough, and Linda Brockinton. A day of 70's music, playing in G without a capo and hymnals with many teaching points. Ended the evening with a concert. Everyone needs to check out Matthew Dickerson on hammered dulcimer for some beautiful music. And look who we ran into.
Check out the October 7, 2018 blog entry News From Yoshie if you have not already. Now you can see the the second half live performance. Yoshie and friends from her choir in Japan present the dulcimer segment just after the piano duet. Enjoy.
Stephanie and her sister Elaine leave this dispatch as they head out to the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association’s annual festival in Unicoi State Park. (Link here.)
Stephanie writes: Long day of traveling in the rain to the North Georgia Dulcimer Festival. Stopped in Cleveland for the Cabbage Patch Hospital. Beautiful views along the way.
For about three years, the Nashville dulcimer community had the privilege of having Yoshie Kinefuchi join us in learning and playing the mountain dulcimer. Now living back at her home in Tokyo, she is sharing her love for the dulcimer with her Japanese community.
Enjoy the following photos and excerpts from recent letters from Yoshie:
Our concert last night (September 15 was a great success! We had a big audience; about 170 people in spite of rain. The feedback was very positive. They said the program was very good and our performance was excellent. The first part was the choir; we sang 10 Japanese songs. The second part consisted of a piano duo concert, country & folk music with dulcimer, viola and recorder, one Egyptian song, three songs for finale. I had the microphone before our performance in the second part and gave a brief introduction of the dulcimer: its history and structure, and how we enjoy it. The audience was very interested and listened to my explanation carefully. Some people came up to me after the concert to see my dulcimer up close and wanted more story about it.
It was truly a delightful evening. Many people said they loved the sound of the dulcimer. So I guess we gained at least 170 new fans of the dulcimer in Japan!
It was sometimes difficult for us to get together and practice regularly as everybody is busy in their own life, but each member practiced her part at home and tried our best to put them together in harmony.
I suppose the concert was successful because we put our hearts together. We had a very good time. Here is some information on our choir: The name of our choir is "Soot El Wald" (meaning "Voice of flower" in Arabic). This is a sister group of the Japanese women's choir in Cairo that was established around 1990. At that time, there was little activity that Japanese women could enjoy there, so a few music-loving women got together and started a singing circle, and little by little more women came to join them. We used to practice once a week and sometimes visited local senior homes, schools and orphanages.
Over the years, the members of the original group have returned to Japan one after another, and around 2010, we established a new group in Tokyo.
So the members of our group are all returnees from Cairo. (Sadly, the original group in Cairo is no longer active due to security reasons over there.) This year's concert was held at Suginami Public Hall in Tokyo on Saturday, September 15th. This was our second concert in Japan.
You were asking about the place we had the concert.
It is a concert hall called "Suginami Public Hall." It has a big concert hall, a small hall and a salon. We used the salon (the smallest space, accommodating approx. 150 people) for our performance.
It has a wonderful structure and the acoustic is really good. Unfortunately the website is only in Japanese, but I hope you can get the idea of it.
The gowns we wore are all hand-sewn by a friend of our member. We love the gowns too!
Submitted by Judy Beier who met Yoshie and her husband Masami during a Tai Chi class at the Green Hills YMCA. (Mr. Kinefuchi was serving as Consul General from Japan for the Southern States.)
When Yoshie overheard someone ask Judy about playing music at Uncle Dave Macon Days, Yoshie said: “What is a dulcimer?”
Judy and Yoshie met for several sessions on Saturday mornings before the Tai Chi class began. After a few lessons Yoshie started playing regularly with the Twangtown Dulcimer Players. Now you know the rest of the story!