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  • Writer's picturePat Clark

Meet Us in. . .Nashville. . .April 2022

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

The Send in the Music Saturday jam theme for this Saturday, July 3rd, is “Let Freedom Ring.” We were not just thinking about a patriotic celebration. The vaccinated among us are starting to get back to our old lives and finally getting a taste of new found freedom to resume some of the activities that we enjoy.

Dulcimer groups are getting back to meeting again. I hear from many folks they didn’t touch their instruments for the whole year. And for many, their dulcimer groups are no longer around. They simply fell apart with the lack of contact.

Happily, many dulcimer players discovered our free Send in The Music Saturday digital jam on Zoom. Those folks were treated to a full year of continued music, on a weekly basis. Jammers were guided by a delightful group of song-leaders who made every Saturday a fun adventure with plenty of antics, warmth and laughing, and lots of new music.

I realize, this long year later, that the jammers I see on the Zoom screen are no longer little boxes with faces and names. You have become my new “dulcimer family“ We weathered social distancing and shared those lonely holidays with the help of our song leaders and very generous mystery guests. We learned to take our mistakes in our stride, and that music does not have to be perfect to be enjoyed.

I would so like to meet you all, and give you a hug, and thank you for helping me make it through the year. I would particularly like to meet all my special song-leaders without whom this wonderful jam would not have been possible. Oh, we could say we will cross paths someday at some festival. But wouldn’t it be spectacular to all meet in one location at the same time. Oh, what a party we would have.

Well, our sponsor, Performing Arts Educators, has created a new kind of dulcimer venue, it seems like they did it just for us - even though I know better. They are making it possible for dulcimer groups across the country to meet in Nashville next April to participate in a musical adventure that puts mountain dulcimer ensembles on one of the most iconic country music stages - The Grand Ole Opry.

I immediately decided I wanted to go. But I also decided this is a magnificent opportunity for our Send in the Music family to gather as an ensemble, in a central location, and celebrate our song-leaders. A number of these special folks created tab for us all year, and led us through old and new music. I want everyone to know my song-leaders the way we know them.

I am personally inviting you to join me in Nashville next April. You can come as a performer and learn to play special music arranged by our song-leaders Carol Crocker, Laurie Alsobrook, Carolyn Brodginski, and a couple of others just for this event. Or, you can just come as part of the audience. The price is the same whichever you choose and includes two nights at the Gaylord Palms Resort, all your meals, admission to the open mic and jam that will take place in the evening, as well as admission to the Grand Ole Opry performance.

We must act quickly in order to secure this venue. Contact Matt Straub for online application and deposit information. Email- or call 904-806-1871.

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