Coming together for mystical tunes

David Gilbert
dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/10/20

Ethereal tunes filled St. James Presbyterian Church in Littleton on Feb. 7 and 8, as dulcimer players from around the country came together for the 14th annual Colorado Dulcimer Festival. Stephen …

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Coming together for mystical tunes

Posted

Ethereal tunes filled St. James Presbyterian Church in Littleton on Feb. 7 and 8, as dulcimer players from around the country came together for the 14th annual Colorado Dulcimer Festival.

Stephen Humphries, who teaches the hammered dulcimer, came from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and said the festival is an exciting place to connect with dulcimer players from outside the instrument's traditional home in the east.

“There are some challenges,” Humphries said. “Our instruments are wood under high tension, and it's so dry here that you've got to watch out for cracks and fractures.”

Humphries said playing the dulcimer can be a holy experience.

“God has given me the opportunity to play this instrument, and when I do, I feel his pleasure,” Humphries said.

For others, the festival was a chance to expand their skills without traveling far.

“I have no training, and I wanted to learn from people who really know what they're doing,” said Mirya Rule, of Englewood. “When I punched this address into my GPS, I couldn't believe it. It's right next door, and I get to work with the masters.”

Check out our podcast, The Dulcet Tones of the Dulcimer, for more from Colorado Dulcimer Festival maestros. 

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