By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Dulcimer traditions workshop

Lawrenceville -- Early traditions of the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer, a handcrafted folk instrument holding historical significance and traditions unique to America, will be presented in a free “living museum” workshop August 16 in Lawrenceville. 

A panel of presenters will give the history of the early mountaineers’ travel and settlement along the Philadelphia Wagon Road, then the Wilderness Road blazed by Daniel Boone and his axmen in 1775.  These early settlers crafted dulcimers, banjos and fiddles, sharing their instrument patterns from “holler to holler”.  Stories of the early dulcimer makers will be shared, their place in the history of the instrument, and exhibits will include recordings, books and video.

Leonard Glenn Dulcimer190Right: A Leonard Glenn dulcimer

The panel will play authentic instruments using traditional methods of noter stick, turkey quills and original tunings.  Everyone with a dulcimer will learn how to play in the noter drone style with music tablature, will learn how to play easy parallel chords without using paper and will be given handcrafted noter sticks to take with them. 

This hands-on cultural experience will include historic dulcimers made by luthiers Leonard Glenn of Sugar Grove, NC, Edd Presnell of Banner Elk, NC, Bill Smith of Bluff Mountain, NC, Roy Russell of Galax, VA and Audrey Hash Miller Ham of Mouth of Wilson, VA.  The workshop panel of presenters includes Lou Ellen Gibson of Big Canoe, GA; Carol Downs, of Athens, GA; Anne Martin of Norcross, GA; and panel coordinator Gwen Caeli of Lawrenceville, GA. 

This free workshop is sponsored by Gwinnoters Dulcimer Gathering, a 21-year-old playing chapter of the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association, a statewide nonprofit founded in 1988 to promote educational activities for the instrument, to preserve and continue the instrument’s heritage, history and traditions and to perpetuate its advanced musical applications.  There are currently 23 playing chapters throughout the state with a membership of 400.  The workshop will be held Sunday, August 16 from 1:30 to 4:30 in the Fellowship Hall of Fairview Presbyterian Church, 857 Duluth Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA. For additional information, email:  gwinnotersdulcimer@gmail.com.