BlogDulcimer Duo A Hit At SummitCorps

Posted on September 14, 2011 by

Scouting isn’t just about roughing it in the wild. It’s about developing well-rounded individuals.

During SummitCorps, the National Park Service hosted Appalachian History Night, where local performers and artisans shared their knowledge and talents with the Order of the Arrow. One week, the OA welcomed 2 local, young musicians.

Dulcimer

There are various kinds of dulcimers including the courting dulcimer (center). (Photo submitted by Emily)

Emily and Hunter are 2 of the region’s finest dulcimer players from Beckley, WV, which is just down the road from the SummitCorps project.

While you’ve been busy Scouting, they’ve spent the past few years traveling the mid-Atlantic performing on the dulcimer, a string instrument developed in the early 1800s in Appalachia.

Hunter, now 17 years old, began playing the dulcimer almost 4 years ago after hearing local musician Tish Westman perform at the nearby Tamarack. He already played the mandolin, but was inspired by Westman’s work and picked up the dulcimer himself.

(Located just down the road from the Summit, Tamarack is the “Best Of West Virginia,” offering a collection of hand-made crafts, arts and cuisine.)  

“I loved the sound of it; the simplicity. I was just intrigued by the possibilities,” Hunter said.

Hunter clearly has a knack for his art. Last year, he won first place in both the state and regional Mid-Eastern Mountain Dulcimer Championship.

Emily, 18 years old, began playing over 2 years ago under Hunter’s instruction.

“I saw him playing and asked him for lessons,” Emily said.

Emily had already taught herself to play the spoons and quickly picked up the dulcimer. She competed in the Mid-Eastern Mountain Dulcimer Championship this year, taking first place in the state and second in the region.

Not bad, eh?

Do you play an instrument?

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