On October 27, 2000, I brought home my first dulcimer, so this fall marks my fifth anniversary as a dulcimer player! This one’s the first big one since the first one, so I’m hoping to have a special celebration, and plans are in the works (details below).

Each year I’ve done a little concert to celebrate the anniversary.

The first:
Venue: One by invitation only, at a friend’s home; one open to the public, at church.
Theme: “Celebrating a year of hammered dulcimer” — This first year of dulcimer, and the pre-dulcimer musical experiences that brought me to this point.
Notes: I had two shows because of scheduling conflicts among friends. Both were wonderful, but the smaller private one was especially sweet, and I was so pleased that my teacher, Tim Seaman, was able to be there.

The second:
Venue: Women’s Community Building auditorium (rented)
Theme: “Celebrations and Traditions” — The first half was like last year’s show condensed, then the second half included music from Baroque, Christmas, and folk traditions.
Notes: A woman from church played recorder on one piece, and a high schooler from the youth group played violin on another. I shouldn’t have bothered renting a hall; the tiny audience looked silly in that empty space, and I barely broke even with admissions ($4) and CD sales. Did I mention that I sort of accidentally recorded my first CD that year, and that we moved here that summer?

The third:
Venue: Mom’s Place Bed and Breakfast
Theme: “Celebrations and Traditions” — This time the anniversary part was condensed into one short set of tunes from the CD, then I played sets of new original tunes, Baroque tunes, and two non-contra-dance traditional tune medleys.
Notes: I’d advertised an open jam session for after the show, but all the musicians were at the contra dance (bad scheduling on my part), so we all just went home after the refreshments that a friend / dulcimer student, the B&B owner, and I had made.

The fourth:
Venue: The Moosewood Restaurant
Theme: “CD release celebration and concert” — The first half was a set of tunes from my second album, What Child Is This?, and the second half included a set from No Loose Threads and a set of our regular trio repertoire. The Hanshaw Trio played with me on most pieces.
Notes: This was great fun; I love playing with a group. This was the first amplified anniversary concert; Christian Anible from church not only lent us his equipment but ran sound for us.

And now…

The fifth:
Venue: Tentatively, Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art
Theme: “Five” — I am planning on five sets. Possibly they will be: No Loose Threads, What Child Is This?, guitar songs, original dulcimer tunes and songs, The Hanshaw Trio, and Pas de Deux. Yeah, I know, that’s six. The question is which two to combine, and what order to put them in.
Notes: We’re tentatively talking about a Sunday afternoon; a light lunch reception down in the airy lobby, followed by the show upstairs in a gallery. I’d be in front of a large landscape painting, and folks could sit comfortably and cozily on a large Persian rug or on benches around the sides of the room. This will mostly be a solo performance, but I would love for Hanshaw and Pas de Deux to play with me for some parts.

I’m excited about having this show at the museum.

I’ve played for their annual holiday party each year, plus for a few special events and some afternoons of art-browsing background music. I like the people: Lynne Williams and Jennifer Ryan who have organized the events and attended some of my other gigs, and Frank Robinson, the director, who is almost always at the Farmers Market saying hi and throwing a tip in my case.

The folks at the other venues have also been wonderful. And I’ve enjoyed playing for some other events at Mom’s Place and the Moosewood, and our church meets in the Women’s Community Building.

But the museum surpasses the others as a concert venue: spacious without feeling empty, great acoustics, and lovely art and rugs and furniture and views.