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Dulcimer Days to have 44th annual festival

| June 13, 2018

COSHOCTON – The sound of dulcimers will be heard this weekend in Roscoe Village during the 44th annual Dulcimer Days Festival. People from all over the country come to the festival each year to attend workshops, learn a little more about the skills to play dulcimers, and just relax and jam with friends, both old and new.

“So many people come back year after year,” said Louise Cardenzana, secretary and treasurer of the festival. “I’ve been involved personally for 10 years now. I started out as a volunteer and then helped with the organization. When I was first involved, I was initially impressed with the quality of people who come. People that do it for the love of the music.”

The Coshocton Dulcimer Days Festival is the oldest of its kind in Ohio and the second-oldest of its kind in the nation.

“We are grateful to the people who come,” said Cardenzana. “They put it on their calendar and they come year after year. I think we’re one of the smaller festivals. About three weeks after ours, there’s a bigger festival in Michigan.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the festival at no charge, whether you play a dulcimer or just enjoy hearing the music. Workshops are available for beginners, intermediate, and advanced at COTC. Cost for each workshop is $15. There can be eight to 15 people per workshop, which makes them more intimate and personal.

The event kicks off Friday, June 15 at 1 p.m. with a variety of workshops at COTC offered until 5 p.m. Please check their website at www.coshoctondulcimerdays.com for a schedule and descriptions of workshops. There are 48 workshops throughout the festival, 16 of those learning about instruments other than the dulcimer such as ukulele, upright bass, Native American flute, harp, and much more. Bring your dulcimer for a jam session in the parlor from 1 – 5 p.m. and enjoy a traditional jam from 7 – 10 p.m. in COTC Room 150 and the parlor.

“Everybody involved in the festival are volunteers,” said Cardenzana. “The instructors get paid based on the number of participants in their workshops.”

There is also a new session this year called “Slow and Easy” that will be held in room 150 and the cafeteria.

“We found out last year that there were a lot of people who could play, but weren’t confident to play in the jam sessions,” said Cardenzana. “The slow and easy session will go at a slower pace and play simpler songs.”

Grab a cup of coffee Saturday morning, June 16 and come by the main stage to hear the mini-concerts beginning at 9:15 a.m. Workshops will also be on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will also be jam sessions in the parlor all day and the highlight of the festival, the headliner concert, will be at 7 p.m. at Roscoe United Methodist Church. Headliners this year are Joe Collins from Tennessee on the mountain dulcimer and Walt Michael from Maryland on the hammered dulcimer.

“It’s a festival for participants,” said Cardenzana. “People who come don’t necessarily come to listen. They come to learn. They like hearing these national performers and kind of rub elbows with them and see them out and about in the village.”

Sunday, June 17 will start with a Gospel sing at 11 a.m. in COTC Room 150. Jam sessions will be held all day and the day will end with the Mid-East Regional Dulcimer Championship at 1 p.m.

“We have had a lot of winners come out of regionals,” said Cardenzana. “We don’t get a large number of competitors, but we get quality people come in. Last year’s national winner is from Dayton and will be here to play at the festival.”

Monetary prizes will be given to the first, second, and third place.

The festival was started by a woman who worked at Roscoe Village and was held in the village for many years. However, after Roscoe Village canceled the festival, a group gathered to try to save the festival and, after working with the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the festival was moved to the court square and workshops were held in the Presbyterian Church. A lot of business owners in Roscoe missed the festival and after a scheduling conflict with the church, the festival moved back to Roscoe and started having workshops in the college.

“The college has really been wonderful to us,” said Cardenzana. “They’ve been really great to work with.”

There will also be raffles for various items throughout the festival as well. Raffle winners will be drawn Sunday afternoon during the competition. The Roscoe Village Business Association and the Coshocton CVB supports the raffle.

“Because we don’t charge admission, this is one of the ways we raise income,” said Cardenzana. “Between the raffles and the headliner concert where we take a goodwill offering, this is how we fund the festival.”

Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

“The festival is about recognition of how we got to where we are today,” said Cardenzana. “It’s carrying on that cultural tradition. Whether you’re talking about popular culture, literary heritage, or musical heritage, the more diverse it is, the richer it is. It’s also teaching the younger generation the heritage of music. It’s not just about the Top 40.”

Sponsors of the festival include COTC, Dulci-More, Jim and Norma Trotter, McWane Ductile, Century National Bank, and several anonymous donors. The Coshocton Village Inn and Suites and Coshocton KOA Campground are also offering discounts to festival out-of-town guests.

If you have any questions about the festival, call Cardenzana at 740-545-6265 or visit their website.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

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.

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