The Danville Dulcimers make a house call

Published 10:04 am Thursday, October 19, 2023

By Lance Gaither

On Oct. 9, the Danville Dulcimers had an in-home concert with one of their founding members who is under the care of Heritage Hospice.

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“The Danville Dulcimers has been has been going for 20 years now,” said Danville Dulcimers member Gail Howe. “This is a core group of members who knew her when she was still playing. We thought it would be fun to come and play with her. I have been playing for 17 years. I came in shortly after the group was established.”

The Danville Dulcimers are a group of friends and enthusiast of the dulcimer. The patient’s name was withheld in compliance with HIPPA regulations.

“We love the dulcimer and love getting together and playing together,” Howe said. “We love planning to play out in church and other opportunities.”

The dulcimer, sometimes referred to as a lap dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, or Appalachian dulcimer is the official state instrument of Kentucky and traces its roots to the rural Appalachian communities of the 19th century.

“Where it came from is a bit unknown,” Howe said. “It could have came from a German instrument or the Irish might have brought it. It was probably the cousin of some other instruments. It is a sweet instrument that can be played in a group or enjoyed by yourself.”

The instrument is fretted and played by laying it flat across your lap strumming it. In addition to the dulcimer, the group has players of many other traditional folk instruments.