Origin of Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players
In June of 2011, with a new micro-grant program, and the help of Waynesboro Tourism director, Katie McElroy, Dinah Ansley organized a three day event featuring dulcimers and old time music, to start on August 12, 2011. With support from Stone Soup, WDI and Wayne Theatre Alliance and much hard work from volunteers comprising of some of Dinah’s students, the event was a success. At Dinah’s suggestion, proceeds from this event became the seed money for the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players’ Club.
Thus, in 2011, a dozen folks interested in the mountain dulcimer gathered in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and formed the BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN DULCIMER PLAYERS Club.
In September of 2012, on the third Saturday, monthly jams were begun at the Augusta County Library in Fishersville VA. In 2013, another jam was started on the first Saturday of each month, at the Bridgewater Retirement Community.
Today, our membership ranges north from the City of Winchester to the James River at Gladstone and west from Augusta County’s Greenville eastward into Richmond’s city limits.
Origin of the Mountain Dulcimer
What was once a primitive instrument found slightly more than one hundred years ago in isolated hills and hollers of the Appalachian mountains has moved into our country’s mainstream and can be found in every state in the U.S., as well as in many parts of the United Kingdom and Europe, and even in some Asian countries.
Initially known as an instrument primarily for solo ballad accompaniment and traditional fiddle tunes, some of today’s mountain dulcimer players have stretched the instrument and play blues, jazz, classical music, pop tunes, and a number of other varieties of musical composition.
Addendum: 2015 membership was 55 players.