“Joyful Noise”

Christmas Carols at BRC, December 3, 2019

Clips from Deck the Halls, Go In Peace and Jingle Bells (featuring the Ugly Stick)
Thanks, Jolene, for leading our group!
Our “Birthday Gal” is in the middle.

Harrisonburg Baptist Church 150th Year Anniversary Celebration

Don’t you love our very own “Minnie Pearl”?

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.

Playing in the Gazebo at the Baptist Church
The gazebo venue at Harrisonburg Baptist Church

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.

Joyful Noise playing at Bridgewaer Retirement Village Vespers

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 storm is over – the rainbow over Lantz Chapel at Bridgewater Retirement Community

The Sweet Sounds of the Sweet Strings Sisters

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.

Shannon and Patricia at Love Church Homecoming
Sisters of the Strings, Shannon and Patricia,
at Love Church Homecoming
Patricia and Shannon making their strings sing!
Patricia and Shannon making their strings sing!

Grand Caverns Annual Fall Picnic

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!

We were glad for our sweatshirts at our picnic jam!
2018 Annual Picnic Jam at Grand Caverns Regional Park

Summertime music at Humpback Rocks

Sunday strumming on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Playing under the oak tree by Joe Clark’s log cabin at the Humpback Visitors Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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!

Tull Glazener Workshop Photos

Tull Glazener’s Workshop, September 21, 2019

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! Thanks, Tull!

“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”.

Read more about Tull and his music at his website: http://www.tullglazener.com/

2019 Jam and Program Schedule

2019 Holiday Season

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!

Our upcoming jams are listed here (view here).

Dec. 15 Holiday Concert Photos

Check out some photos of our 2018 Holiday Concert – it looks like everyone had a great time!  

Aeolian Voices
Sweet Stings Sisters
Finger Picking Voices

Thanks to Gene Bowlen for  running sound. 

We ended with the Sing-A-Long, doing THREE TUNES; JINGLE BELLS, JOY TO THE WORLD, AND WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, with more than 25 dulcimers playing!



How can we thank Jan Scanlan for her years of leading us at jams? Here’s a token, Jan!

Thanks to friends and family for helping us to celebrate this holiday season with music!

Galax Dulcimer

Galax Dulcimer/Melton Family Tradition – “Galax Style” is the term given to cover a type of dulcimer and a style of playing from the southwestern area of the state of Virginia, in particular the playing of one family in and around the area of Galax – the Meltons.  This dulcimer style dates back to the mid-1800s and is one of the oldest in the history of mountain dulcimers predating the dulcimer revival which started around the 1960s.
On October 30, 2018, Bridgewater resident Phyllis Gaskins shared her story of how she fell in love with the Galax Style dulcimer, and how it became her passion  to preserve and share this style of music for generations to come.  Phyllis brought her collection of Galax dulcimers,  and presented a slide show of history, and making of the instrument.
Phyllis' group
Phyllis  is the ultimate authority on Galax duclimers and their history, though that is nothing that she set out to do! So our club experienced a unique opportunity to learn first hand from the acknowledged expert! 

Phyllis' Collection

September 22, 2018 Fall Picnic Pics

Here’s a couple pictures from our 2018 picnic.
While disappointed that some folks who had planned on coming on the original date were not able to make it, we were delighted to have a good turnout for the slow jam, and, of course enjoyed the great food!  Thanks to all!
The Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players FALL PICNIC and JAM has been re-scheduled for September 22,  due to the effects of Florence and the forecast for rain, flooding and high winds.  This will be our THIRD SATURDAY JAM, thus no jam is scheduled at Augusta Library, Sat. 15.  Slow jam will begin at 11:00. Regular jam begins after lunch. Bring your dulcimer, chair, and whatever you need for jamming!   Gather at Shelter #4 (go straight when entering the park).  Bring your dulcimer and a chair for playing!
PLEASE RSVP  by Saturday September 15 to Becky Chalam (or blueridgedulcimer@comcast.net) letting us know how many in your family will be coming.  If you have already replied, but now will not be able to attend on Sept. 22, please drop Becky a note.
The schedule for the day will be:
  • Plan to arrive between 11 and noon, and set up for our picnic.  A “slow jam” is planned between 11 and noon; we will “boil that cabbage” while food is getting set up!  Consider this an “introduction to jamming” for newbies and a chance to play some slow tunes, for any who might find fast jam tunes daunting! So, plan to bring your dulcimer and chair!  Dinah Ansley will lead this jam; bring your Dave Haas Jam book.  We have only two more jam books left at the special club price.
  • Lunch will be at noon – bring a dish to share, BBQ chicken will be provided by the club!  –Bring a friend and family, too!  Paper plates, plastic ware and water will be provided.
  • We will continue with a jam after our meal, playing some of our usual jam favorites and a few faster tunes.
  • (In the case of inclement weather, please check our Facebook Page or website for updates or cancellation information).

Note: there will be no Jam held at the Fishersville Library on Sept. 15, 2018; as we will be jamming together at Grand Caverns Park in Grottoes, VA on Sept. 22!

Last year, we enjoyed great fall weather, playing outside, visiting with old and new friends, and sampling great picnic fare!

Photos from our September 30, 2017 Annual Picnic at Grand Caverns Park in Grottoes