Familiar Music for those in Nursing Care, Memory Units and Retirement Villages
In the dining rooms, the community rooms and gathering places of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, White Birch Retirement Home, Sunnyside Retirement Community, The Springs Retirement Community in Hot Springs, and Brookdale Senior Living, strains of familiar tunes and hymns are often heard. Tom and Jan Scanlan, have entertained in these venues for literally hundreds of hours over the years. They are greeted enthusiastically, and the question each time at the end is “When will you be back?”
Sometimes they are joined by other club members and players, and make special appearances from time to time to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions.
In addition to their regular circuit in the retirement communities, they make an annual appearance at the Maple Sugar Festival in Highland Co., in March and at the Hands and Harvest Festival in Highland Co. in October each year.
Jan and Tom include music related stops in their travels, including several areas that claim they are the home to Old Joe Clark of the old time tune. However, Kentucky may have the most authentic claim; they have his statue and plaque to prove it!
Some of our northern-most club members are the “Heartstrings”
Club members Vicky Germroth, Arna Zulauf, Irene Mertens, Ann Grisdale and Sally Walters gather to play as “Heartstrings”. This year they played at the Greenfield Nursing Home in Strasburg in February, April and May. They took our Limberjack (Jig Doll) and the residents loved it! They also attended the Poconos Dulcimer Festival in Stroudsburg, PA in April. In October, Tom and Jan Scanlan joined the group as they played at Brookdale Senior Living in Harrisonburg. Last December Heartstrings played Christmas music at the “Merriment in Middletown” event and at Bellegrove Plantation in Middletown and are scheduled to perform at both places again this December.
On September 15, 2019 in Batesville, several dulcimer players joined Renée Willis in providing the prelude for the special Homecoming service. Every pew was filled, and the tables overflowed with food at the fellowship meal! What a lovely historic place to gather for worship!
Harrisonburg Baptist Church 150th Year Anniversary Celebration
On September 29, the Joyful Noise, the Tuesday Morning Maple Terrace dulcimer players, joined Wally Holthaus in celebrating the Harrisonburg Baptist Church’s 150th Anniversary. What a great service, fun day, and wonderful food! We played some multi-part hymns in the gazebo during the noon meal.
Vespers at BRC’s Lantz Chapel
August 18 turned out to be one of our most exciting programs ever, in a totally unexpected way! As the Joyful Noise (the Tuesday Morning Maple Terrace dulcimer players) were preparing to begin the Sunday Evening Vesper program, the storm that had been rumbling outside erupted in a loud clap of thunder and …. the power went out! Thanks to the help of some of the audience who provided light for the players with their cellphones, we were able to complete the program in almost complete darkness.
When we left, the rain had stopped, and a rainbow appeared over the chapel. We took that as a sign that all was well.
The “Sweet Strings Sisters”, Debbie Campbell, Patricia Cash, Carole Ralston and Shannon Tate, were often heard playing this summer by the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway on 2nd and 4th Sundays of summer months.
This year, Sisters of the Strings, Shannon Tate and Patricia Cash, have shared sweet music at the Homecoming Sunday at Love Church and also at Glovier Memorial Methodist Church for Waynesboro Weekly Religious Education program. They were invited to play also at the Tinkling Presbyterian for their “Angels Among Us” luncheon, where Patricia played autoharp and sang and Shannon did voice and dulcimer backup with dulcimer.
For the past several years, we have gathered for a fall jam at Grand Caverns Park in Grottoes. We have shared good food as well as good music! After an unseasonably warm week, the day of our picnic dawned chilly and remained that way! We were thankful for Mike’s crockpot of macaroni (and his red velvet cake, too!), for Joan’s spectacular salad, the ham, snack mix, and myriad of other goodies that were shared! A dozen folks were there, and the sun shone while we jammed before lunch. Thanks to Dinah for leading the slow jam!
Jan and Tom Scanlan, Patricia Cash, Shannon Tate, Debbie Campbell and Carole Ralston, along with other club members, played at Humpback Rocks, Milepost 6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, every 2nd and 4th Sunday afternoon of the summer months, June through September, weather permitting. Lots of visitors at the Visitor Center stop by to learn about the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer and to listen to some old-time tunes. We met visitors from many states and several other countries. Perhaps the most memorable visitors, however, were the black bears. The music must have been to one of the bear’s liking – he came back another Sunday to hear some more!
What a wonderful day – three multi-part workshops with Tull, ending
with the class playing “Go in Peace” as the prelude to Tull’s evening
concert. As always with our instructor concerts, it was a real treat!
“Sum of the Parts” – there’s something magic that
happens when a like-minded group of musicians gets together to play.
The “whole” truly is greater than the sum of its parts! We spent the
day working on the skills and techniques needed to “play well with
others” as we worked through a number of multi-part ensemble
arrangements. We were thrilled to “open” Tull’s concert Saturday
evening with his multipart arrangement of “Go Now In Peace”.
As we begin to plan ahead for the upcoming holiday season, we see that already various groups within our club have arranged to play for others. Sharing our music with others outside our own circle was one of our club goals that was expressed at our Annual Meeting in November 2018. So, we are delighted that the sweet sound of dulcimers will be heard in Assisted Living at Bridgewater Retirement Village, in the Memory Unit at Sunnyside Retirement Village, and at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.
Additionally, some fingerpicking will grace the campus of Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center and Batesville Market during the holiday season. The Bridgewater First Saturday jam is planning to play holiday music from the balcony in the atrium of Maple Terrace. Come join in the group playing there on December 7 from 2 – 4 pm.
Holiday Blessings to you all as you share in music and friendship!