Updated Thu, Oct 17, 2013 11:44 am
Webster’s Dictionary defines the mountain or Appalachian dulcimer as "an American folk instrument with three or four strings stretched over an elongate fretted sound box that is held on the lap and played by plucking or strumming."
A gathering that celebrates that instrument, The Southeast Ohio Dulcimer Festival, returns to the Federal Valley Resource Center in Stewart, Ohio, Oct. 18-20.
The focus of this annual event is teaching enthusiasts to play the instrument and to generally promote and appreciate the mountain dulcimer. Players of all skill levels are welcome to attend the three-day festival, which features a full day of workshops on Saturday led by a staff of about a dozen teachers and players.
The festival kicks off Friday evening with an open house, registration and a relaxation concert presented by the festival’s founder and dulcimer builder, Jerry Rockwell, and this year’s featured performer, Esther Golton.
Golton, whose playing is described by Rockwell as "stunning and genre surfing," has an approach to the instrument that utilizes modern, unconventional techniques and a sundry of musical devices.
She has released several recordings of original material that not only feature her dulcimer prowess but also showcase her singing, songwriting and flute playing.
Following the full day of workshops on Saturday, Golton will headline the evening concert followed by various performances from the staff musicians.
Sunday’s main event is a master class taught by Golton on melody and accompaniment with the mountain dulcimer.
For more about the festival, including workshop descriptions and schedules, directions, registration and more, can be found at www.jcrmusic.com.