Come and experience the unique sound of dulcimers

| June 14, 2017
Bing Futch, far left, greets visitors to the 2016 Coshocton Dulcimer Days Festival. This year’s festival will be June 16 – 18 in Historic Roscoe Village and has something to offer both dulcimer performers and those who love their unique sound.

Bing Futch, far left, greets visitors to the 2016 Coshocton Dulcimer Days Festival. This year’s festival will be June 16 – 18 in Historic Roscoe Village and has something to offer both dulcimer performers and those who love their unique sound.

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton Dulcimer Days Festival has been an annual tradition for 43 years. This year’s event will be June 16 – 18 and located in Historic Roscoe Village. The activities begin at noon on Friday and finish with the Mid-East Regional Competition on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The festival has always been a place where people from all over the country come to perform, teach workshops, and listen to the unique and soothing sounds of the mountain and hammered dulcimer.

“The mountain dulcimer is very therapeutic,” said Louise Cardenzana, secretary and treasurer of the Coshocton Dulcimer Days Festival. “I’ve known people who have gone into nursing homes and hospitals to play the mountain dulcimer. It’s a very soothing sound.”

Although they are both dulcimers, the mountain and hammered dulcimers are two completely different instruments. The mountain dulcimer is small and is able to fit on the performer’s lap. It has an elongated shape and averages about four strings, whereas the hammered dulcimer has many strings and must be supported by a stand. The mountain dulcimer is strummed with a pick much like a guitar and the hammered dulcimer is struck with mallets.

“The mountain dulcimer appeals to people who enjoy the sound of a guitar, but the hammered dulcimer has such a unique sound,” said Cardenzana. “It appeals to people who like steel drums. It’s just a very pretty sound.”

The festival will feature a variety of workshops for beginners who have never played a dulcimer to experts who just want to learn something new. The workshops will be taught by a variety of seasoned dulcimer players including Bing Futch, David and Annette Lindsay, Wendy Songe, John Hockett, and many others. Also hosting workshops will be headline performers The Vanderveer Brothers, who are from Texas, and Jeff Hames, who is from Tennessee. All workshops are $15 and tickets can be purchased at the festival.

“We are fortunate to have young people as our headline performers this year,” said Cardenzana. “They are the future face of this traditional music. One of the neat things is that introducing them are going to be the experienced performers in the field.”

Workshops will be from 1 – 5 p.m. at COTC on Friday. At that time, there will also be jam sessions in the parlor and vendors set up all throughout the village. From 7 – 10 p.m., there will be a traditional jam in room 150 at COTC and the parlor.

Workshops will continue on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at COTC. At that time, beginning at 9:15 a.m., there will also be mini-concerts in room 150 at COTC where the instructors will perform at certain times throughout the day, and jam sessions will be held in the parlor all day. The day will culminate with the headliner concert at Roscoe United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. where audiences will be entertained by the Vanderveer Brothers and Jeff Hames.

Sunday will begin with a Gospel sing at 11 a.m. and end with the Mid-East Regional Dulcimer Championships at 1 p.m. on the main stage in Roscoe. There will also be jam sessions throughout the day.

Be sure to check out the items available at this year’s raffle. David and Annette Lindsey have donated a hammered dulcimer, Terry Kirby has donated a bowed psaltery, and Gary Sager has donated a mountain dulcimer as part of this year’s raffle. Other items have been donated as well. Raffle tickets are one for $1, six for $5, or 13 for $10 and will be available at the information table in the COTC entryway.

Parking and admission into the festival are free. Whitewoman Street will be open during the festival, so there will be plenty of parking. Parking is also available behind COTC and at the Roscoe Visitor’s Center.

For more information on the festival, visit their website at coshoctondulcimerdays.com.

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    Category: Arts & Entertainment

    Beth Scott

    About the Author ()

    I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.