April 12, 2014

Dalton Dulcimers to perform for Guild’s In Concert program

Submitted by the Creative Arts Guild

— The Creative Arts Guild will welcome the Dalton Dulcimers at its next In Concert program on Thursday.

Dalton Dulcimers, a mountain dulcimer club, is a satellite of the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association and a ministry of Dalton First United Methodist Church. The group was formed in 2009.

The dulcimer is a handcrafted wooden stringed instrument developed by Appalachian mountain folk in the 19th century. Considered perhaps the only truly indigenous American instrument, the dulcimer produces a sweet sound, hence its name which means “sweet melody.” It is played by strumming, fretting and picking, and produces a background drone sound that underlies the melody.

There are about 15 members who gather each Wednesday to learn and have fun with Celtic, Appalachian fiddle tunes, gospel music and a variety of other styles that work well on the instrument. A guitar, a mandolin, an autoharp, a bowed psaltery and an accordion add variety to the sound. Over the years, players have added dimension to the music with multipart arrangements.

The group has shared music with churches, civic groups, the Prater’s Mill Festival, “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” through the Smithsonian and local assisted living and nursing homes.

Interest in the dulcimer has experienced a revival in recent years. There are many clubs in Georgia, Tennessee and surrounding states. Festivals are held where players gather to jam and learn from dulcimer professionals. Dulcimer is taught at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

The Guild’s In Concert program will be Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Jonas Performance Hall. Admission is $5 (children in laps are free). For more information, contact Guild music director Lisa Elders at (706) 259-1822 or email lisae@creativeartsguild.org.