This is my last day at this wonderful week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. I’ve been teaching the intermediate hammered dulcimer class, and really enjoying my hardworking students, and getting to know all the other instructors here. The music has been wonderful!! Definitely a highlight has been playing fiddle next to Gerry Milnes (who knows more notes per tune than anyone else I know!) and getting to jam some with John Rossbach. The Thursday night concert was held in the chapel, which is something like a cereal bowl with stained glass sides. Molly McCormack and I had performed “Cool of the Day” earlier in the week at one of the afternoon concerts, but decided an encore was necessary, and it was critical that we include Maddie MacNeil this time (a serious omission on our parts the first go-around!). Thanks to Rob Brereton for holding the camera and capturing this video. It was a great night of music, and I’ll say it again, a really fun week! I feel SO fortunate to have these opportunities!
I was never going to forget these five musical minutes of my life anyway, but I’m super glad that Laurie McCarriar captured it all on video. Maddie MacNeil, Tom White, Ken Lovelett and myself were all on stage together for the teachers’ concert at the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium, and our setlist consisted of things that each of us had brought to the table to share and be played on by everyone. So this was my contribution, my arrangement of Amazing Grace that I’ve been living with and working on for a year now (or more, if you count back to when I first started playing around with it back in Ireland). I think we’ve reached an all-new level of perfection with it now. What could ever be more beautiful than Maddie’s voice? And the rest of the band made us sound like we were some Irish super-band, like Altan or something. Love it.