Virtual Festivals--what's your experience, or your thoughts?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
I did have another thought about a benefit virtual festivals have given me--they are helping me get to know who's out there, in terms of well-known teachers and players, and giving me the chance to learn from those people.
I built my first dulcimer from a kit in '96, and attended the Southern California Harvest Festival of Dulcimers in '97 and '98. I attended some wonderful workshops with Neal Hellman, Mark Nelson, Lois Hornbostel, Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith. About that time my fourth child was born, and I was really busy for awhile. I still played, but I was basically the only dulcimer player I knew, except for a dear lady who lived near my parents in Kentucky.
When I went to register for the festivals in November, I had never heard of any of these people--except Lois Hornbostel, who taught at the North Georgia festival, and you can believe I attended a couple of her workshops! But it was great to realize I could go learn from this one and that one, and get to "know" them.
(Actually I was dimly aware of Robert Force, who taught at the Florida festival, and it was great to learn from him!)
Neal Hellman was on the faculty of Quarantune 3.0 (I missed the first two), and I enjoyed a wonderful class with him.
But I've been really solitary in terms of playing dulcimer for a long time, and the virtual workshops help me get back with the dulcimer community. This website is helping with that too. And I want to start dropping in on virtual jam sessions.
(and I should probably go check out the informal Zoom meetings at the Albany festival; I missed yesterday's.)