The hammer dulcimer made a favorable impression as guests sipped their wine and walked among the display booths of the recent third annual Avinger Wine Festival.
Amy Lyons of Marietta played the instrument while atop the festival’s garden stage. No loud noise, just a pleasant, soft background tinkle that seemed something like a cross between acoustic guitar and chimes.
Lyons gives instructions on playing the dulcimer. She’s a part of the Northeast Texas Dulcimer Chorus, which meets from 9 a.m. until noon Saturdays in the fellowship hall of the First Baptist Church in Pittsburg. This hall is between the family life center and sanctuary.
The lessons are free. The reward for everyone is simply joining in together to play. The club members often play for civic organizations, churches and businesses. For information about this service, contact Janice Marsh at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1997, eight people met at the home of Janice March and formed the NET Dulcimer Chorus to represent Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg and Texarkana.
The players in the dulcimer group has frequently performed for festivals. Christmas open houses were an especially pleasant occasion.
The group has now grown to about 25 members with their ages ranging from 10 to 70 years.
The lessons are for instruments known as the mountain and hammer dulcimer, although other instruments are also sometimes included. All level of players are welcome.
A hammer dulcimer is a stringed musical instrument with its strings stretched over a trapezoidal board typically set on a stand. The musician holds small mallet hammers in each hand to strike the strings.
The Appalachian or mountain, dulcimer is different. It is a fretted instruments of the zither family with three or four strings played by plucking. In general format, it has a long narrow soundbox and is often held on the lap when played.
For more local information, Lyons said she would be glad to answer inquiries from her home in Marietta at 903-748-9067.